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Argenta Takes Key Step In US Expansion Through New Acquisition

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

16 October 2008 - Auckland-based animal health company Argenta today announced it has acquired AlcheraBio, a United States-based contract research organisation involved in the development of animal health products and technologies.

The acquisition is a key step in Argenta's expansion into the United States, says Argenta CEO Doug Cleverly.

"We are delighted to acquire a company of AlcheraBio's stature. The United States represents between 30 and 40 percent of the global market for animal health products and we are pursuing growth in the US market growth as an important part of our vision to be the leading provider of new product development and manufacturing services to the international animal health industry," says Dr Cleverly.

"We see huge potential for businesses offering outsource services to companies developing and marketing both companion animal and the livestock products. AlcheraBio has been involved in cutting-edge work in these sectors."

AlcheraBio, formed in 2001 by Linda Rhodes VMD, PhD, and Katherine Moldave MBA, is headquartered in New Jersey, a short distance from Rutgers University. Dr Rhodes is an adjunct professor at the university's School of Environmental and Biological Science which offers highly respected graduate and undergraduate Animal Science programmes.

AlcheraBio will continue in its current location and Dr Rhodes and Ms Moldave will remain with the company as Vice Presidents of Clinical Development and Market Support, respectively.

"This is a match made in heaven with a similar culture and very good synergies in the services offered by the two companies," says Dr Rhodes. "Our clients will see the same level of expertise from AlcheraBio but will also have access to an expanded range of capabilities from Argenta."

Argenta Business Development Manager Jane Eagleson, MVSc, a former Senior Director at Pfizer, will manage AlcheraBio and divide her time between New Zealand and the United States.

Dr Cleverly says Argenta is extremely fortunate to have someone of her calibre on board.

"Jane's experience in the United States through her work with Merck, Merial and Pfizer makes her an enormously valuable addition."

Argenta last year secured FDA approval for its New Zealand research and manufacturing plant, giving the company access to the lucrative US market and significant credibility in international markets.

"Securing FDA approval opened the door for us to develop new products in Auckland for global pharmaceutical companies. The purchase of AlcheraBio continues our long-term vision to provide a one-stop shop for animal health companies seeking an outsourcing partner." says Dr Cleverly.

The world's first Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) dedicated to animal health, Argenta was formed in 2006 through the acquisition of Nufarm Health and Sciences, which manufactured animal health pharmaceuticals for the Australasian market, and Chemlabs, an animal health research and development company. It now exports to more than 40 countries but does not market its own products, preferring to operate as a research provider and manufacturer.

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