As leaders in Australia across the veterinary industry, Apiam Animal Health (ASX: AHX) has been at the forefront of animal health standards of care. But with one eye on their international counterparts, executives at Apiam foresee some major improvements in animal, customer and employee outcomes which will be driven by technology.
Having expanded their R&D division in 2019 when acquiring ACE Laboratories, Apiam have launched a range of vaccines and animal health products over the past two years, including their Xtend 21 antimicrobial surface protectant. With Xtend 21 having received regulatory approval in the United States following a 2-year study at the Iowa State University, Apiam was present for its US launch last week at the American Association Swine Veterinarians conference.
“This is a first for the animal health sector, and will address microbial surface contamination issues in both the prevention and reduction of clinical disease,” said Apiam Managing Director, Dr Chris Richards.
Designed for use in agriculture, veterinary and animal health, Xtend 21 is an antimicrobial surface protectant expected to be widely popular as a solution addressing an unmet need in the industry. By applying it across barns, transport and equipment, farmers are able to greatly reduce the possibility of diseases infiltrating their herds. Despite it only being formally launched last week, US-based distributor Aurora Pharmaceuticals has already commenced sales throughout their network of 10,000 wholesale customers.
Much like how humans adopted hand sanitiser in everyday life in response to COVID-19, Xtend 21 is just one example of how animal health trends follow the human kind. Many of these trends were widely discussed at last week’s Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas which followed the AASV event and featured more than 500 trade show vendors.
“One of the key takeaways of particular interest was the use of client and pet focused platforms integrated into cloud computing to revolutionise the vet clinic as we know it to drive efficiencies, enhance animal care and improve environmental outcomes,” said Dr Richards.
It is anticipated that wearable devices will play a role in the future of animal health standards, similar to how wearable devices can monitor vital signs in humans, made popular in the mainstream by the likes of FitBit and Garmin.
Given the substantially larger species pool to design such devices for in the animal kingdom, we may still be a few years away but Dr Richards won’t be surprised if vet clinics gradually operate more like an Apple Store than a doctor’s office.
“Speaking with industry leaders, employee wellness is the biggest focus for our industry at the moment and there’s some great tech being developed for vets that can optimise workflows and in turn reduce stress amongst employees.
“This tech is being developed for both front and back office operations which has the potential to substantially improve clinic operations. Combining cloud bases systems with smart devices, this tech will drive operating efficiencies, enhance precision animal monitoring and optimise communications within the workplace and with clients.”
“Having returned with a wealth of new ideas, the Apiam team looks forward to exploring innovative new approaches to clinic workflow and customer experiences.”
For the half year ended 31 December 2021, Apiam Animal Health reported a 22.7% increase in revenue to $75.1 million and gross profit of $46.2 million, a 32.5% increase on the previous corresponding period.
Proactively preparing for these upcoming changes in the animal health industry while rapidly expanding their clinic network, Apiam is targeting $300m in annual revenue by 2024.
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