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Pfizer's animal health unit, Zoetis, soars in IPO

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm •  Published: February 1, 2013

With annual sales of about $4.2 billion, Zoetis Inc. is the world's largest maker of medicines for pets and farm animals. It invests $400 million in research and development per year, which its CEO, Juan Ramon Alaix, the former president of Pfizer Animal Health, said is the most in the industry. The company is using that money to create new medicines and vaccines, along with new formulations and uses for some current products, and combination medicines.

Among its innovations, as part of Pfizer, the company created an injectable medicine for common bacterial skin infections in dogs and cats, Alaix said in an interview. The one shot spared pet owners the chore of forcing pills down the throat of their dog or cat three times a day, often for weeks, as required with older drugs. It also developed the first Lyme disease vaccine for dogs and a new vaccine to combat Hendra virus, which infects horses and can be transferred to humans.

Like Pfizer and other makers of medicines for people, Zoetis plans to expand in emerging markets such as China to increase growth.

Zoetis is currently based in Madison, N.J., at a campus shared with other Pfizer businesses, but Alaix said it will relocate at some point within New Jersey.

Pfizer shares rose 35 cents, or 1.3 percent, to end at $27.63.


AP Business Writer Tom Murphy in Indianapolis contributed to this story.