Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Elanco Animal Health has agreed to purchase Aratana Therapeutics, developer of the canine osteoarthritis drug Galliprant, in a stock transaction valued at $245 million. The purchase is expected to close by mid-2019.
Elanco, the world’s fourth-largest animal health company, was an early backer of 9-year-old Aratana as the smaller firm ramped up its research and product pipeline. Elanco in 2016 acquired the exclusive rights to manufacture and commercialize Galliprant (grapiprant tablets).
Aratana has slowly generated revenue but has yet to turn a profit. The Leawood, Kansas, company in March reported a 2018 net loss of $14.7 million against net revenue of $35.4 million.
Besides Galliprant, described as a first-of-its-kind NSAID for canine osteoarthritis, Aratana makes:
- Entyce (capromorelin oral solution), an appetite stimulant for dogs.
- Nocita (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension), a local anesthetic formulated to provide up to 72 hours of post-operative pain relief in dogs and cats.
Among products under development are a canine osteosarcoma vaccine, an anti-viral treatment for feline herpes virus-induced ophthalmic conditions and an oral antagonist for the prevention of clinical signs of atopic dermatitis in at-risk dogs.
Elanco produces drugs and vaccines for pets and livestock. The Greenfield, Indiana, company expects 2019 revenue of more than $3.1 billion.
Jeff Simmons, Elanco’s president and CEO, called Aratana “one of the most innovative start-ups in animal health.”
“We believe the deal would bring greater value to veterinarians and pet owners, as well as both Elanco and Aratana shareholders,” Simmons said.
Aratana’s president and CEO, Craig Tooman, pointed his company’s “strong track record as a drug developer” and to “our field team’s unmatched expertise delivering innovation to veterinary specialists.”
“As a newly independent, premier animal health company, we believe that Elanco would help expand our portfolio with their substantial resources and presence within the companion animal segment,” Tooman said.
In announcing the acquisition of Aratana, Elanco also reported signing a development and commercialization agreement with VetDC for Tanovea-CA1, a conditionally approved canine lymphoma treatment. Terms were not announced.
VetDC is a start-up company spun off from Colorado State University.