May 17, 2020

Dechra Pharmaceuticals: A timeline

Catherine Sturman
2 min
Working closely with regulators and catering towards ever-changing consumer demand, Dechra Pharmaceuticals has become one of the most well renowned vete...

Working closely with regulators and catering towards ever-changing consumer demand, Dechra Pharmaceuticals has become one of the most well renowned veterinary companies and one of the top 10 sellers of veterinary products globally.

The company has undergone a number of strategic acquisitions, enabling it to gain worldwide exposure across the board and guarantee strong revenue growth.

Originating in the UK as Arnolds & Son back in 1819, Dechra Pharmaceuticals turned its focus onto the veterinary market, supplying essential equipment and medical treatment, building long-term partnerships along the way.

Identifying a number of opportunities to ensure it continues to deliver world-class services and products, we take a look at how the company has grown exponentially.

2000 – 2005

Dechra acquired Veterinary Laboratories. The acquisition enabled Dechra to procure its services within the veterinary industry, creating increased competition. To support this further, the company acquired Anglian Pharma to strengthen its manufacturing capabilities

This enabled its products to be distributed throughout the European Union in 2003, following a marketing agreement with Janssen Animal Health, leading it to gain a full EU license for its drug Felimazole

2005 – 2010

The company’s continued success sees it enter the US market, placing down roots in Kansas City, Missouri. Back in the UK, the company continues to spread its roots, acquiring Leeds Veterinary Laboratories in 2007. In the same year, Dechra secured a long-term agreement with Pharmaderm Animal Health to support the growth of a number of products in the US market.

Dechra’s European expansion also sees it acquire Denmark based company VetXX Holdings A/S.

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2010 – 2015

To become a leader in the dermatological market, Dechra acquired Dermapet Inc in 2010, as well as Genitrix Limited and Eurovet Animal Health B.V to support its growing inventory

2015 - Present

The last five years has seen Dechra Pharmaceuticals undertake several acquisitions whilst developing its service model.

The company’s acquisition of Genera led it to enter and strengthen its position in the vaccines market, but also look towards further markets.

In 2016, Dechra acquired Brovel SA de CV, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company based in Mexico City, alongside pharmaceutical company Putney, located in the US.

Additionally, the company’s acquisition of Apex Laboratories Pty Ltd in Sydney will enable the company to expand its operations across Australia and New Zealand,

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Jun 15, 2021

 NHS trials test that predicts sepsis 3 days in advance 

2 min
Queen Alexandra Hospital is trialling a new sepsis test by Presymptom Health that uses machine learning to detect the onset of the disease

A new test that can predict sepsis before the patient develops symptoms is being trialled at a National Health Service (NHS) hospital in the south of England. 

Clinicians at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital are leading medical trials of the blood test, which they hope will help them save thousands of lives a year. 

The test is being developed by government spin-out company Presymptom Health, but the research began over 10 years ago at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). This included a study of 4,385 patients and more than 70,000 samples, the largest study of its kind at the time. 

From the samples taken, a clinical biobank and database were generated and then mined using machine learning to identify biomarker signatures that could predict the onset of sepsis. The researchers found they were able to provide an early warning of sepsis up to three days ahead of illness with an accuracy of up to 90%.

Unlike most other tests, Presymptom Health identifies the patient’s response to the disease as opposed to detecting the pathogen. This is an important differentiator, as sepsis occurs as a result of the patient's immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury, which can then cause life-threatening organ dysfunction. 

Worldwide, an estimated 49 million people a year contract sepsis, while in the UK almost two million patients admitted to hospital each year are thought to be at risk of developing the condition. If Presymptom's test is effective, it could save billions of pounds globally and improve clinical outcomes for millions of sepsis patients.

The initial trials at Queen Alexandra Hospital will last 12 months, with two other sites planned to go live this summer. Up to 600 patients admitted to hospital with respiratory tract infections will be given the option to participate in the trial. The data collected will be independently assessed and used to refine and validate the test, which could be available for broader NHS use within two years. 

If successful, this test could also identify sepsis arising from other infections before symptoms appear, which could potentially include future waves of COVID-19 and other pandemics.

Dr Roman Lukaszewski, the lead Dstl scientist behind the innovation, said: “It is incredible to see this test, which we had originally begun to develop to help service personnel survive injury and infection on the front line, is now being used for the wider UK population, including those fighting COVID-19.”

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