Mars Petcare buys Finnish genetics lab

Genoscoper Laboratories partnered with Mars on the Wisdom Panel Health and Optimal Selection Feline tests.

Mars Petcare buys Finnish genetics lab

Mars Petcare, whose Wisdom Panel test identifies the ancestry of mixed-breed dogs, is venturing deeper into the science of detecting inherited health conditions through the acquisition of Genoscoper Laboratories.

The transaction, announced Jan. 11, expands on Mars’ recent introduction of Wisdom Panel Health, which combines canine breed ancestry with the detection of genetic health markers.

Genoscoper, based in Helsinki, Finland, offers genome-wide DNA analysis of pets.

“The technology uses a comprehensive panel approach to test for known mutations, while simultaneously recording thousands of neutral chromosomal markers that can be used to measure genetic diversity and even locate new mutations associated with other genetic disorders,” Mars reported.

Knowing about genetic predisposition can improve pet health over the long term, Mars stated.

“Ultimately, this [technology] will enable targeted and preventive veterinary care with pets getting individualized nutrition, exercise and treatment,” said Leonid Sudakov, MBA, president of Connected Solutions at Mars Petcare. “This is a critical time in the development of genetic testing for pets, which we believe is poised to expand dramatically as breeders, veterinarians and pet owners increasingly understand its benefits, exactly as it is currently happening for humans.”

Wisdom Panel Health was a joint project of Mars and Genoscoper. The companies also partnered on a new test, Optimal Selection Feline, which looks for more than 40 genetically associated conditions in cats.

Mars Petcare is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee.

Terms of the acquisition were not released.