While the bulk of attention for genetic research goes to treatments and developments for humans, the animal market can offer investors another venue into this field.
A 2016 report projected the global animal genetics market would be worth $5.5 billion by 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4 percent. This reported included data on three public companies involved in this sector: Genus plc (LON:GNS), Neogen (NASDAQ:NEOG) and Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS).
The report, “Animal Genetics Market by Type, Genetic Material, Embryo, Testing Services – Global Forecast to 2021,” indicated this area has seen growth from the rising demand of animal products “owing to the increasing global population and rapid urbanization.”
A growing awareness for veterinary genetic diseases and disorders has also help catapult this sector into the radar of many established researchers.
In the work of cures and treatments for animals, some companies work to develop medical applications with genetic elements. Kindred Biosciences (NASDAQ:KIN) works on veterinary medications. Their therapeutic biologics technology has allowed them to develop several candidates treating fevers, weight loss, ulcers, anemia and more.
Their business is majorly focused on recombinant biologics, or medications that have a specific genetic code spliced in—in this case, one tailor made for cats, dogs or horses. Cultured in large tanks, these genetically modified cells produce proteins that can then be used in a customized medication for each animal.
Over a year-to-date period Kindred has seen a 77.65 percent increase to their share value. The company’s market cap, as of Nov. 30 is 201.18 million.
Genus plc (LON:GNS) works in animal genetic material. Using DNA analysis, the company has selected and bred livestock for key genetic traits, ones they believe will increase profitability for farmers. They sell this livestock, as well as their semen and embryos.
But animal genetic material isn’t just used in agriculture. Pharmaceutical companies also use it as they work to develop new drugs—ones intended for human use. ATryn, for example, is a blood thinner created by GTC Biotherapeutics … and a herd of genetically modified goats. The drug is actually made from their protein-enriched milk.
Kanuma, developed by Alexion (NASDAQ:ALXN) is another one of these so-called ‘farmaceuticals.” It’s an enzyme therapy for a rare metabolic disease and it was made with eggs laid by genetically engineered chickens.
Genetic testing is another major area of work and research. IDEXX BioResearch (NASDAQ:IDXX), offers genotyping and genetic analysis to assist with veterinary clinical trials.
Animal Genetics, a private company, gives testing services for inheritable canine, equine and avian diseases. Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) offers similar services for livestock, in order to improve and streamline agricultural production. Meanwhile, companies like Neogen (NASDAQ:NEOG) provide DNA testing for some of the world’s top dog breed registries.
The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) works to break new ground in the genetic advancements for animals. Their various projects have taken their researches all over the world investigating several anomalies with different species.
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This article is an updated version of an article originally published on the Investing News Network in 2017.
Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.