Product registrations in 2014
Countries distributed to in 2014
Sales and Marketing organisations in 2014
Manufacturing sites owned in 2014
Number of employees in 2014
Product registrations in 2021
Countries distributed to in 2021
Sales and Marketing organisations in 2021
Manufacturing sites owned in 2021
Number of employees in 2021
On 16 April 2020, Dechra completed the acquisition of the worldwide rights to Mirataz from Kindred Biosciences. Mirataz is the first and only FDA and EMA approved transdermal product for management of weight loss in cats; it is a complementary product to those already in the Dechra portfolio, which often treat illnesses complicated by feline weight loss. With any acquisition, it is critical for Dechra to hit the ground running to convert purchased assets into value for the business quickly. In order to achieve this, our approach begins by establishing a cross-functional core project team with a dedicated project lead responsible for managing transition specific activities through to business as usual. This approach leads to high rates of transition success as the team is able to build and follow an end-to-end project plan collectively, there is a high level of cross-functional decision making and unexpected issues can be managed efficiently if or when they arise.
At the time of acquisition, Mirataz was in different stages of commercialisation in each territory, requiring a regional approach to transition. As such, each market (USA, EU, Canada) had a unique project plan tailored to meet the specific goals and challenges in that region. That said, there were several transition activities that were applicable globally. The core project team began the transition process by gaining a deep understanding of the product and its intricacies through document review and training sessions with Kindred Biosciences. Marketing Authorisation transfers were then completed for each region to bring regulatory ownership of the product under Dechra control. The Manufacturing team quickly initiated the relationship with the contract manufacturer to ensure continuity of supply. Marketing messaging was developed globally, but customised to each region based on knowledge of the market and the approved indication(s). Our Veterinary Technical Services and Pharmacovigilance teams completed technical assessments, FAQs, reporting, and training so that the transition of the customer interface was seamless. Finally, regulatory and quality compliance with all relevant authorities was maintained throughout the transition and beyond.
In the United States, the key objectives for transition were to recognise sales for Dechra as soon as possible after close and to maintain continuity of supply. The first sale of Mirataz in the USA occurred within seven days of close due to collaborative efforts to transport and release purchased inventory. The core team partnered with the contract manufacturer to ensure timely delivery of the next inventory shipment in Dechra trade dress. Both objectives were achieved with zero backorders throughout the transition, and to date, Mirataz has exceeded budgeted sales estimates.
For the European market, in order to maximise the sales potential of Mirataz the team concluded that it would be necessary to launch the product in high-end, child resistant secondary packaging. Design, selection, regulatory approval and implementation of the secondary packaging configuration became a critical path to launch. The core team demonstrated a high level of collaboration and micromanaged each key task to ensure that the product would launch as quickly as possible. Due to these efforts, the team successfully launched Mirataz in the EU in February 2021 in the newly approved child resistant carton; to date sales have exceeded expectations.
In Canada, Mirataz was still under regulatory review at the time of acquisition. The team successfully fielded a round of questions from Health Canada which ultimately led to product approval in September 2020. As with any project, there were some unexpected challenges. In this instance, we encountered a change to the testing requirements for a raw material that required additional validation. Due to the team approach, we were able to identify this early and minimise the delay. The validation is currently in progress with launch inventory ready to be released once completed.
The purchase of Mirataz is an example of a highly complex global product acquisition with unique challenges that were successfully managed by the collective expertise and dedication of the core project team. Overall, we were extremely effective in achieving critical transition actions across the three regions and moving the product into Dechra’s standard business procedures. Dechra is proactively applying the learnings from this transition process to hone and optimise our approach to product acquisitions further.
One of the key strategic goals for Dechra Brazil, currently predominately a FAP business, is to utilise its regulatory, sales and marketing expertise to develop a bigger presence and reputation in the growing companion animal pharmaceutical market through selling some of the key Dechra brands. The decision was made to start this process with Dechra’s lead brand, Vetoryl, which had previously been registered and sold in Brazil, but due to a complex distribution structure had become too expensive for the pet owners and the product was discontinued. The first step was to unravel the distribution arrangements, transfer the Vetoryl files from the previous distributors and resubmit to MAPA (Ministry for Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply) for approval as a Dechra registered and distributed product. After many months of communication with the regulators all four strengths of the product were finally approved in the middle of 2020, a process which takes over two years.
The next steps were to develop and approve packaging and schedule orders with manufacturing. Once the products were ready for shipment, the organisation of the distribution proved a challenge due to the pandemic. The products were finally air freighted from Uldum, Denmark in early March and arrived in Curitiba, the capital of the state of Parana. The products then had to pass through the necessary customs checks and were approved for sale and dispatched on 29 March to the Dechra distribution warehouse in Campinas, just north of Sao Paulo, a further journey of some 475km.
This arrival was perfectly timed with the planned launch programme for April 2021. The sales team, who are predominantly veterinarians, were the first to be introduced to the product and trained on its merits. The next audience was a pre-launch to the key opinion leaders (KOLs), followed by distributor training and then a webinar to veterinarians. These four events, which were online, resulted in the Vetoryl message being communicated to over 30,000 customers, demonstrating the huge interest for the product.
Dechra Brazil is at the forefront of utilising digital tools to support the launch of products, this included a platform to present the disease and product to the veterinarian, a podcast to deliver the messages to the KOLs and other social media and digital mechanisms to communicate case studies and videos. The Vetoryl training modules were made available in Portuguese on the Academy. All these activities have required a huge amount of skill and focus by the team to be able to bring this novel and clinically necessary product to the market. Dechra Brazil will continue to adapt further support tools and services to build their position as the endocrine experts. Newly recruited specialist technical veterinarians will focus on supporting customers and expanding relationships with KOLs, while the marketing team will prepare for the next endocrine product launches of Felimazole and Zycortal later this year. The regulatory team are also busy with further planned submissions of Forthyron and Cosacthen. Looking to the future, a new business model is being created to support and build relationships with pet owners with the sole aim of helping veterinarians provide a service that recognises the importance of quality of life for the pet and how this transmits into quality of life for the pet owner.
After the acquisition of Brovel in 2016, Dechra Mexico began to transform the business from a family laboratory focused on generics, to a specialised pharmaceutical business focused on niche, regulated products. Now under the name of Dechra Productos Veterinarios, the company’s presence keeps growing and strengthening, becoming a pure commercial organisation in the 2021 financial year. It has become the fastest growing company in the Mexican animal health market in the last three years according to Kynetec (Animal Health market data).
The management team was tasked with introducing Dechra and our product range to customers. This required a significant amount of time and effort to educate veterinarians and distribution partners on the current product range and new Dechra products to be launched in Mexico. To enhance the company image and increase profitability, the team rationalised 57 low margin and non strategic products so they could focus on Dechra key products. An additional strategy was to optimise the distribution network and strengthening the relationship with strategic business partners (the distribution partners were reduced from 250 to 74). The current distributor partners are engaged and focused on increasing their business with Dechra through our specialised portfolio. Key to sales and profit growth has been the approval of new products. 21 new marketing authorisations have been received from SADER (Mexican Regulatory Authority) throughout the last three years.
In order to raise the awareness of the relevant clinical conditions, educational materials and continuous education programmes are being developed in partnership with KOLs; these are being implemented by the sales force and through congresses and virtual training. Dechra is now recognised for introducing new and specialised products to the Mexican market, some of them to treat under diagnosed diseases and in our key therapeutic area, Endocrinology.
Following a number of disappointing years, our companion animal nutrition range, Specific, experienced strong growth in the 2021 financial year. This was due to a change in the marketing mix and close management of the supply chain.
Marketing Mix Update
Product: Veterinary customer needs are changing and products have to clearly reflect a strong differentiation compared to the main players in the pet food market. To facilitate identification and recommendation by veterinarians, the range has been completely refreshed in two stages: cat diet products in 2018, and then dog at the beginning of 2020. The launch of the refreshed products were supported by a communication campaign to the veterinarians, who remain the key to developing the Specific range recommendation to pet owners, with the aim of obtaining new veterinary clients.
The main differentiation of Specific is that it is a premium range of veterinary pet food based on sustainability, due to the certified marine based raw material, mainly fish, which gives undeniable technical advantages for healthy diets but moreover a reduced impact on the environment compared to other protein sources.
At the beginning of 2021, this positioning was reinforced by the launch of the organic pet food range, which in addition to being the first organic pet food range launched by one of the main pet food players on the veterinary market, was also offered in recyclable packaging.
A commitment has now been made to continue the transition of all Specific products to recyclable packaging by the end of 2023 and to continue to select raw materials certified as sustainable.
Price: The refresh of the Specific range has allowed us to reduce the price positioning in each market giving us a marketing advantage.
Promotion: Steps have been taken to increase the use of digital communication. Although the Specific range remains mainly dedicated to the veterinary channel, digital communications have also been geared to owners explaining the benefits of using Specific for their pets and directing them to veterinary practices that stock the product range.
Place: Historically, we have not actively sold the products online, however, due to the rapid digitalisation of the veterinary market, marketing support has been provided to veterinarian’s websites to help veterinarians and pet owners find Specific products online when needed.
Supply Chain Management
The development of our relationships with suppliers, and new raw material sourcing as well as precise monitoring of inventory have drastically limited the impact of COVID-19 on the stock position. This accurate supply chain management gave Specific a clear competitive advantage that continues today compared to the main players in the veterinary market.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis occurred during the relaunch of the refreshed Specific range, but having secured the supply, new marketing actions and improved digital orientation have made it possible to successfully overcome this crisis. We have delivered additional benefits to the range in terms of visibility and reliability, and delivered solid sales growth in the year.
During the 2021 financial year the cross functional teams have been creating resilience in our global network by using technology to create a global HR platform.
ADP Celergo Global Payroll Project
In September 2020, Dechra embarked on a two year project to roll out a global payroll solution with ADP Celergo. Discussions around our global payroll solution commenced back in 2016 with the original project put on hold to prioritise the Oracle ERP roll out as both projects impacted the same teams internally.
Prior to the project, payroll services across Dechra were independently run in each country mainly through different outsource providers making global reporting more difficult, raising questions around data security and presenting difficulties when looking for solutions for newly acquired businesses. The decision to move to ADP Celergo globally was taken for a number of reasons, including:
The ADP Celergo Project Office set up has been replicated within Dechra with two dedicated Project Managers and local in country support from Dechra employees who currently process the payroll. All of Dechra’s 25 countries are in scope for the project and to date we have implemented the solution in 16 countries. The remaining countries will go live in 2021 calendar year.
As part of the ADP Celergo global payroll system roll out, there is a significant amount of work ongoing in order to have Diamond (our Oracle HR Information System) ready and fit for purpose in each of the countries where we have employees.
Employees will be required to use the self-service functionality in Diamond in order to assist with accurate reporting, for example for address changes or for absence information, to our Payroll teams. In countries where we have 50 or more employees, there will be a direct interface between Diamond and the ADP Celergo platform. The interface will feed personal details, bank details, and pay changes directly to ADP Celergo.
The integration project commenced mid-November 2020 and is progressing with assistance being provided by Oracle and the ADP teams. We are continuing to test the first integration files for the UK,
Australia, Denmark and France.
Time and Attendance Recording
We have also started a separate project to move from the various local time and attendance (T&A) solutions, where used, to a standard Oracle Time & Labour (OTL) application which will be embedded in our Diamond system. This project is being jointly implemented by HR, Payroll and IT.
Our teams within the UK, US, Australia and Germany are coming to the end of their User Acceptance Testing (UAT) as part of Phase I. Go live for Phase I OTL countries is expected to be completed by the end of September 2021. Our Phase II OTL implementation project has commenced for France, Denmark, Brazil, Croatia and the Netherlands and is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year.