Milk tankers.
October 3, 2017

Elanco Puts Its rBST Business Up for Sale

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Late last week, Elanco Animal Health announced that it is exploring “strategic options for rbST, including seeking a buyer for the molecule and its Augusta, Ga., manufacturing facility.”

In its statement, Elanco says “the decision will allow the company to bring new products that help farmers protect animal health, enhance animal care and improve profitability.”

“Elanco plans to increase our investment in future innovation, bringing new tools that help farmers protect animal health,” says Grady Bishop, senior director of Global Market Access for Elanco. He spoke at a press briefing here in Madison, Wis. prior to the start of World Dairy Expo.

Grady notes that while most food waste in developed countries occurs after food is sold, some 20% of meat and milk production in developing countries never reaches consumers, but is lost to animal disease and death. Estimates suggest some 1.3 billion tons for food is lost or wasted annually in this way.

To combat these losses, Elanco hopes to focus renewed efforts on reproductive health, lameness, Mycoplasma, Bovine Respiratory Disease and Mycobacterium. Elanco also continues to study and develop new uses for Imrestor, which is currently labeled to reduce clinical mastitis 30 days after calving in both first-calf heifers and older cows.  But the company did not announce any new uses or timelines for new Imrestor product labels.

The use of rbST has declined dramatically in the past few years as processors have succumbed to pressures from food retailers, and as processors have run out of processing capacity in their plants. Most processors east of the Mississippi River have or will prohibit rbST use by the end of the year, but it is still being used on a limited based in a few western states. rbST is also being used in developing countries in South America and Africa where dairy products are growing in demand.