Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co. Inc., announced Aug. 5 the completion of its acquisition of IdentiGEN, a leader in DNA-based animal traceability solutions for livestock and aquaculture, from MML Growth Capital Partners Ireland.
Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
According to the announcement, IdentiGEN’s technology combines each species’ unique DNA and data analytics to provide an evidence-based animal traceability solution, called DNA TraceBack, to accurately and precisely trace beef, seafood, pork and poultry that is verifiable from farm to table.
Food producers, processors and retailers are looking for accurate and complete animal traceability solutions that provide full accountability as well as greater transparency, quality and sustainability of food sources for consumers, Merck Animal Health said.
The company said the addition of specialized, digital technology within its portfolio of medicines, vaccines and services provides holistic solutions to help advance animal health and complements its existing identification and monitoring technology, which delivers real-time, actionable data and insights to help, improve or enhance animal management and health outcomes.
“Enhanced digital technology will play an increasingly important role in food traceability and food safety, providing customers critical information and actionable data to help ensure a sustainable supply of quality food to protect public health,” Merck Animal Health president Rick DeLuca said. “We now will be able to provide end-to-end animal traceability solutions at industry scale to improve the health and safety of animals and ensure even greater transparency in our food supply.”
DeLuca continued, “The highly skilled employees at IdentiGEN, led by Ronan Loftus and Ciaran Meghen, exemplify our commitment to 'The Science of Healthier Animals,' and we look forward to collaborating with the team to leverage our scientific and technical capabilities and expertise to shape the future of animal health.”
Summarizing other recent transactions in the traceability space, Merck Animal Health noted:
- In April 2019, it completed its acquisition of Antelliq Corp. and its market-leading brands Allflex Livestock Intelligence, Sure Petcare and Biomark.
- In December 2019, the company acquired Vaki, a leader in fish farming and wild fish conservation monitoring equipment and real-time video monitoring technology to advance fish health and welfare.
- In June 2020, the company acquired Quantified Ag, a leading data and analytics company that monitors cattle body temperature and movement in order to detect illness early.
Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co. Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. It is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets.
Founded in 1996, IdentiGEN is a pioneer of DNA-based solutions for producers, processors and retailers of meat and seafood products in the agri-food industry, with operations in Ireland, Europe, the U.K. and the U.S.