Elanco Animal Health Incorporated and its subsidiaries (collectively, Elanco, the Company, we, us, or our) is committed to helping our customers improve the health of animals in their care, while also making a meaningful impact on the communities we serve. As a global independent animal health leader, we are dedicated to innovating and delivering products and services to prevent and treat disease in pets and farm animals, creating value for pet owners, veterinarians, farmers, stakeholders, and society as a whole. With presence in more than 90 countries, our diverse, durable portfolio serves animals across our core species consisting of: dogs and cats (collectively, pet health) and cattle, poultry, swine, sheep and aqua (collectively, farm animal). Through our One Elanco culture, our commitment to excellence, and ownership of our decisions, we strive to always create positive outcomes for our customers, empowering them to share our vision of Food and Companionship Enriching Life.
Formerly a business unit of Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly), we became independently incorporated on September 18, 2018. After two years of operating as a standalone company, we acquired Bayer Animal Health in August 2020, marking the largest acquisition in industry history. This addition has allowed us to expand our portfolio to provide a more comprehensive set of animal health solutions while expanding our omni-channel presence, allowing our customers to shop where and how they want. As a result, we have increased scale and reach as well as a more balanced portfolio between pet health and farm animal. Refer to “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 6: Acquisitions, Divestitures and Other Arrangements” for additional information.
We are committed to fulfilling our customer promise: We will rigorously innovate to benefit our customers and improve the health of animals.
We expect to capitalize on growth opportunities by advancing our pipeline of innovation and optimizing existing products, as well as through strategic business development. In 2022 and 2021, we launched nine new products in major geographies and delivered many geographic expansion and life cycle management enhancements of existing products across pet health and farm animal. Additionally, in 2021, we advanced our opportunities to access the fast-growing pet dermatology market through the acquisition of KindredBio, adding three potential pipeline blockbusters with launches beginning as early as 2024. As part of the acquisition, we also secured full ownership of the canine parvovirus therapy that is expected to be conditionally approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the first quarter of 2023. For further discussion of our recent business development initiatives, see the Overview section within "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 6: Acquisitions, Divestitures and Other Arrangements.”
We have continuously strengthened and expanded our three-pronged strategy: Innovation, Portfolio and Productivity. It remains our foundation for sustained growth and profitability. We expect revenue growth through mid-decade to be led by a number of new launches in key market segments and in areas that balance and strengthen our portfolio. For our existing products, we intend to maximize value by investing in focus brands, those significant pet health, poultry and aqua brands that are accretive to our growth. Elanco’s core brands, the vast portion of our aggregate portfolio, are expected to remain stable and/or grow slightly. This part of our strategy is then balanced with defend brands (e.g., Rumensin™, Trifexis™ and the Advantage Family), which are highly profitable and material brands where we intend to maximize profitability and preserve sales. We expect that launch excellence, price, geographic focus, digital and expanding omni-channel leadership will be key enablers of growth.
In addition, we continue to enhance our approach to sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG), which is focused on four interconnected pillars, called Elanco's Healthy Purpose™, to create a meaningful impact today and for years to come:
Healthier Enterprise: Growing our business with integrity and excellence with respect to all stakeholders, where all employees feel safe, engaged and accountable as owners.
Healthier Animals: Helping pets and farm animals live healthy, quality lives by continuously expanding our portfolio, while identifying new and innovative animal care products, practices, and services.
Healthier People: Improving people’s lives and livelihoods by promoting animal companionship and enabling sustainable production of meat, milk, fish and eggs.
Healthier Planet: Minimizing our own environmental footprint, while leveraging product and service innovations to help our stakeholders advance their sustainability efforts.
In 2022 and 2021, our business, operations, financial condition and results have been impacted by worldwide economic conditions. The global economy has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine as well as supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. We continue to monitor these factors and have worked with our customers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders to mitigate their impacts. For additional information, see the Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations section within "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," "Item 1A. Risk Factors – We could experience demand, supply and operational challenges associated with the effects of a human disease outbreak, epidemic, pandemic or other widespread public health concern," and "Item 1A. Risk Factors – Significant portions of our operations are conducted in foreign jurisdictions, including jurisdictions presenting a high risk of bribery and corruption, and are subject to the economic, political, legal and business environments of the countries in which we do business.”
We operate our business in a single segment directed at fulfilling our vision of food and companionship enriching life – all to advance the health of animals, people and the planet. For additional information about our business segment, refer to “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 18: Geographic Information.”
We advance our vision by offering products in these two primary categories:
Pet Health: Our portfolio is focused on parasiticides, vaccines and therapeutics. We have one of the broadest parasiticide portfolios in the pet health sector based on indications, species and formulations, with products that protect pets from worms, fleas and ticks. Our Seresto™ and Advantage™, Advantix™, and Advocate™ (collectively referred to as the Advantage Family) products are over-the-counter treatments for the elimination and prevention, respectively, of fleas and ticks, and complement our prescription parasiticide products, Credelio™, Interceptor Plus™, and Trifexis. Our vaccines portfolio provides differentiated prevention coverage for a number of important pet health risks and is available in the U.S. only. In therapeutics, we have a broad pain and osteoarthritis portfolio across species, modes of action, indications and disease stages. Pet owners are increasingly treating osteoarthritis in their pets, and our Galliprant™ product is one of the fastest growing osteoarthritis treatments in the U.S. Additionally, we have products that offer treatment for otitis (ear infections) with Claro™, as well as treatments for certain cardiovascular and dermatology indications.
Farm Animal: Our farm animal portfolio consists of products designed to prevent, control and treat health challenges, primarily focused on cattle (beef and dairy), swine, poultry, and aquaculture (cold and warm water) production. Our products include medicated feed additives, injectable antibiotics, vaccines, insecticides, and enzymes, among others. We have a wide range of farm animal products, including Rumensin and Baytril™, both of which are used extensively in ruminants (e.g., cattle, sheep and goats). In poultry, our Maxiban™ product is a valuable offering for the control and prevention of intestinal disease.
Our reported revenue for each product category is as follows:
Contract manufacturing represents revenue from arrangements in which we manufacture products on behalf of a third party, including supply agreements associated with divestitures of products related to the acquisition of Bayer Animal Health.
Our operations are conducted globally, and we sell our products in over 90 countries. Emerging market economies are an important component of our growth strategy to advance as a global leader in the animal health industry and will serve as the base upon which we build our commercial and local innovation capabilities.
Revenues from operations outside the U.S. of $2,446 million accounted for 55% of our total revenues in 2022. By total revenues, China, Brazil, and the U.K. are our largest markets outside the U.S.
The following graph illustrates our reported revenue by our key geographic regions:
We have a diverse portfolio of products marketed under approximately 200 brands, including products for both pets and farm animals.
Our pet health products help veterinarians and pet owners better care for pets. We partner with our customers for the purpose of providing a consistent flow of innovative and effective products and support. Our R&D focuses on products that prevent and treat disease, improve and extend quality of life and improve the type of care received by pets. We also partner closely with veterinarians to provide technical support and case management for our products. Pet health products represented approximately 48% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Our farm animal products are designed to enable producers to keep animals healthy and deliver more food while using fewer resources. Our antibacterials, anticoccidials, vaccines and parasiticides aim to make food safer by preventing and controlling disease. We offer products and support to enhance the integrity of the food supply, while our productivity enhancers help make food more affordable and abundant by increasing the amount of meat or milk an animal can supply. Furthermore, our expertise and data analytics help our customers improve production efficiency and business performance. Farm animal products represented approximately 50% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022.
We group our products into two principal categories, Pet Health and Farm Animal. Refer to the "Commercial Operations" section above for additional information.
In 2022, our top selling products as a percentage of total revenue were as follows:
|Top selling products:|
|Top five selling products:|
|Seresto, Rumensin, Advocate, Advantix, and Maxiban||24 ||%|
Set forth below is information regarding our principal products, which are defined as product lines and products that represented approximately 1% or more of our revenue in 2022:
Pet Health Products
(imidacloprid + permethrin + pyriproxyfen)
|Monthly topical application that kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, kills lice and repels biting flies. Provides broad-spectrum protection against these ectoparasites that can transmit diseases.||Cats, Dogs|
(imidacloprid + pyriproxyfen)
|Monthly topical flea control that kills fleas, flea eggs and larvae on contact while also treating, preventing and controlling lice infestations.||Cats, Dogs|
(imidacloprid + moxidectin)
Monthly topical treatment to prevent flea infestations as well as heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis), lungworm (Angiostrongylus) and other gastrointestinal worm infections, including roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina), whipworms (Trichuris vulpis), and hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma braziliense, and Unicinaria stenocephala).
|Controls atopic dermatitis in dogs weighing at least 4 lbs.||Dogs|
Claro / Neptra
(florfenicol + terbinafine + mometasone furoate)
One-dose treatment for otitis externa associated with susceptible strains of bacteria (Staphylococcus pseudintermedius) and yeast (Malassezia pachydermatis).
Kills adult fleas and treats flea infestations (Ctenocephalides felis) and treats and controls tick infestations (Amblyomma americanum (lone star tick), Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick), Ixodes scapularis (black‑legged tick) and Rhipicephalus sanguineus (brown dog tick)) for one month in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age or older and weighing at least 4.4 lbs.
|Includes multiple products that collectively protect against distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, corona, parainfluenza, leptospira canicola, and other diseases.||Dogs|
|Controls pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.||Dogs|
(milbemycin oxime + praziquantel)
Prevents heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis and treats and controls adult roundworm (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina), adult hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum), adult whipworm (Trichuris vulpis), and adult tapeworm (Taenia pisiformis, Echinococcus multilocularis, and Echinococcus granulosus) infections in dogs and puppies weighing at least 2 lbs. and 6 weeks of age or older. Interceptor Plus is a relaunch of a previously approved formula.
(milbemycin oxime + praziquantel)
Treats and controls parasitic infections due to adult hookworm, adult roundworm and adult tapeworm and prevents heartworm disease caused by Dirofilaria immitis.
|Controls postoperative pain and inflammation associated with soft tissue surgery in dogs weighing at least 5.5 lbs. and 4 months of age or older and controls postoperative pain and inflammation associated with orthopedic surgery, ovariohysterectomy and castration in cats weighing at least 5.5 lbs. and 6 months of age or older; for a maximum of 3 days.||Cats, Dogs|
(imidacloprid + flumethrin)
|Flea and tick collar based on a patented low dose, slow release technology that kills and repels fleas and ticks, kills lice for up to 8 months with one single application, and reduces vector-borne disease transmission risk (e.g., leishmaniosis). ||Cats, Dogs|
(spinosad + milbemycin oxime)
Prevents heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis) and kills fleas. Trifexis is indicated for the prevention and treatment of flea infestations (Ctenocephalides felis), and the treatment and control of adult hookworm (Ancylostoma caninum), adult roundworm (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina) and adult whipworm (Trichuris vulpis) infections in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age or older and weighing at least 5 lbs.
(1)Formerly marketed as Duramune™.
Farm Animal Products
|Includes multiple products that collectively protect against Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, fowl cholera, paramyxovirus Type 3, Bursal Disease, other diseases and foodborne pathogens like Salmonella.||Poultry|
|Oral treatment for control of coccidiosis caused by Isopora suis infection in swine and clinical coccidiosis caused by Eimeria bovis or Eimeria zuernii in young cattle. Attacks all stages of the parasite.||Cattle, Swine|
|Injectable antibiotic active against various bacterial diseases in cattle (major bovine pathogens) and swine (respiratory disease pathogens).||Cattle, Swine|
(butaphosphan + cyanocobalamin)
|Injectable for prevention or treatment of deficiencies of vitamin B12, Cyanocobalamin, and phosphorous.||Cattle, Horses|
(plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid vaccine)
|Immunizes Atlantic salmon to reduce impaired daily weight gain, and reduce mortality, and cardiac, pancreatic and skeletal muscle lesions caused by pancreas disease following infection with salmonid alphavirus subtype 3 (SAV3).||Fish (Salmon)|
Treats Swine Dysentery associated with Serpulina hyodysenteriae susceptible to tiamulin and swine bacterial enteritis caused by Escherichia coli and Salmonella choleraesuis sensitive to chlortetracycline and treatment of bacterial pneumonia caused by Pasteurella multocida sensitive to chlortetracycline. Denagard is a shared-class antibiotic.
Enzyme supplement for poultry and swine feeds that contain a source of â-mannanase, which hydrolyses the â-mannans present in soybean and corn meal.
(narasin + nicarbazin)
Prevents coccidiosis in broiler chickens caused by Eimeria necatrix, E. tenella, E. acervulina, E. brunetti, E. mivati and E. maxima. Maxiban is an animal-only antibiotic and an ionophore.
Prevents coccidiosis in broiler chickens caused by Eimeria necatrix, E. tenella, E. acervulina, E. brunetti, E. mivati and E. maxima. Monteban is an animal-only antibiotic and an ionophore.
Controls swine respiratory disease associated with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and Pasteurella multocida.
Controls bovine respiratory disease (BRD) associated with Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Histophilus somni in groups of beef and non-lactating dairy cattle, where active BRD has been diagnosed in at least 10% of the animals in the group. Pulmotil is a shared-class antibiotic.
For cattle fed in confinement for slaughter, improves feed efficiency and prevents and controls coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii.
For dairy cows, increases milk production efficiency (production of marketable solids-corrected milk per unit of feed intake).
For growing cattle on pasture or in dry lot (stocker and feeder and dairy and beef replacement heifers), increases rate of weight gain and prevents and controls coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii.
For mature reproducing beef cows, improves feed efficiency when receiving supplemental feed and prevents and controls coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii.
For goats, prevents coccidiosis due to Eimeria crandallis, Eimeria christenseni and Eimeria ninakohlyakimovae in goats maintained in confinement.
For calves (excluding veal calves), prevents and controls coccidiosis due to Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii.
Rumensin is an animal-only antibiotic and an ionophore.
Surmax™ / Maxus™ / Inteprity
Prevents mortality caused by necrotic enteritis associated with Clostridium perfringens in broiler chickens. Surmax, Maxis and Inteprity are animal-only antibiotics.
While many of our products are sold consistently throughout the year, we do experience seasonality in our pet health business due to increased demand for certain parasiticide product offerings in the first half of the year. For example, based upon historical results, approximately 75% and 60% of total annual revenue contributed by our higher-margin parasiticide products Seresto and Advantage Family, respectively, has occurred during the first half of the year, which is reflective of the flea and tick season in the Northern Hemisphere.
Antimicrobial resistance in humans, or the risk that bacterial pathogens that cause infectious disease in humans evolve or otherwise emerge that are resistant to antibiotics or other antimicrobials, is a significant health concern, and animal agriculture can play a role in mitigating this risk. As a company dedicated to the health and well-being of animals, we seek to help veterinarians and farmers responsibly use antibiotics when treating animals. In our efforts to address antibiotic resistance while protecting animal health, we introduced a global antibiotic stewardship plan focused on increasing responsible antibiotic use; reducing the need for shared-class antibiotics; and replacing antibiotics with alternatives to help livestock producers treat and prevent animal disease. Antibiotics, used responsibly, along with good animal care practices, help enhance food safety and animal well-being.
There are two classes of antibiotics used in animal health:
Animal-only antibiotics and ionophores: Not all pathogens that cause disease in animals are infectious in humans, and accordingly, animal-only antibiotics are not used in human medicine. Ionophores are a special class of animal-only antimicrobials uniquely developed only for use in animals. In Europe and certain other jurisdictions, ionophores are not currently classified as antibiotics. Because of their animal-only designation, mode of action, and spectrum of activity, their use is not considered to create the same risk of resistance in human pathogens.
Shared-class antibiotics: These are used in both humans and animals. Some antibiotics are used to treat infectious disease caused by pathogens that occur in both humans and animals. Of the 18 major antibiotic resistance threats that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks, two are associated with infectious disease in animals. As part of our global antibiotic stewardship plan and in compliance with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) guidance, shared-class antibiotics are labeled only for the treatment of an established need in animals and only with veterinarian oversight.
We have intentionally shifted away from shared-class antibiotics, and are focusing on animal-only antibiotics, as well as antibiotic-free solutions. In 2022, 8% of our revenue was from products classified as shared-class antibiotics (3% from sales in the U.S. and 5% from international sales), which is down from 9% in 2021. Revenue from animal-only antibiotics and ionophores represented 15% of our total revenue in 2022 (13% from ionophores), which is up from 14% in 2021. Through our policies and efforts in this area, we seek to protect the benefits of antibiotics in human medicine, while responsibly protecting the health of farm animals and the safety of our food supply.
Sales and Marketing
Through our global sales force comprised of approximately 2,010 sales representatives, our veterinary consultants and our key distributors, we seek to build strong customer relationships and fulfill demand for our pet health products primarily with veterinarians and, in some markets, pet owners, and for our farm animal products primarily with farm animal producers, veterinarians and nutritionists.
In markets where we do not have a direct commercial presence, we generally contract with distributors that provide logistics and sales and marketing support for our products. In certain markets, we sell certain products directly to retailers. Our presence in retail channels has been expanded by our acquisition of Bayer Animal Health.
Our sales representatives visit our customers, including consultants, veterinarians, farm animal producers, and resellers, to inform, promote and sell our products and to support customers. Our veterinary consultants are available to provide scientific consulting focused on disease management and herd management, training and education on diverse topics, including responsible product use, and generally have advanced degrees in veterinary medicine, veterinary nutrition or other agriculture-related fields. These direct relationships with customers allow us to better understand their needs. Additionally, our sales representatives and veterinary consultants focus on collaborating with our customers to educate and support them on topics such as local disease awareness and to help them adopt new and more sophisticated animal health solutions, including through the use of our products. As a result of these relationships, our sales and consulting visits provide us with access to customer decision makers. In addition, our sales and marketing organization provides enhanced value by supporting farm animal producers to help maximize their yields and reduce costs. Our analytics help customers analyze large amounts of health and production data.
We primarily sell our pet health products to third-party distributors and retailers, as well as directly to veterinarians who typically then sell our products to pet owners. We primarily sell our farm animal products to third-party distributors and directly to a diverse set of farm animal producers, including beef and dairy farmers as well as pork, poultry and aquaculture operations. With the acquisition of Bayer Animal Health, we have expanded our presence in retail and e-commerce channels in order to meet pet owners where they want to purchase. Certain top selling pet health products acquired from Bayer Animal Health, including Seresto and the Advantage Family, are offered through these channels. Our largest customer, an affiliate of AmerisourceBergen Corp., is a third-party veterinary distributor and represented approximately 11% of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022. Our next two largest customers, which are also third-party distributors, represented approximately 7% and 5%, respectively, of our revenue for the year ended December 31, 2022.
Research and Development
Our R&D organization is comprised of internal research, development, regulatory and external innovation collaborations. As of December 31, 2022, we employed approximately 1,080 employees in our global R&D and Regulatory Affairs organizations. Our global R&D sites are comprised of the following:
|Kemps Creek, Australia||Shanghai, China||Greenfield, Indiana (R&D headquarters)|
|Monheim, Germany||Bangalore, India||Fort Dodge, Iowa|
|Sao Paulo, Brazil||Basel, Switzerland|
We incurred R&D expenses of $321 million in 2022, $369 million in 2021 and $329 million in 2020.
New product innovation is a core part of our business strategy. Our approach is a build, buy, or ally strategy to develop compelling innovations that originate from our scientists and innovators, academia, agribusiness, or external partners including human pharmaceutical, agriculture and biotechnology organizations. We focus our R&D investment on projects that target novel product introductions with new active ingredients, as well as products leveraging known active ingredients in new indications, presentations, combinations, and species expansion.
We seek to concentrate our resources on projects that match our strategy and where we can leverage our broad technical and commercial capabilities. Specifically, our R&D focuses on seven areas across pets and farm animals. We have R&D activities in therapeutics, vaccines, monoclonals and parasiticides for pets. In farm animals, we are pursuing pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and sustainable animal protein projects.
Our R&D efforts are balanced across species, development phases and technology platforms. We apply large and small molecule approaches for both farm animals and pets. Additionally, we employ various delivery strategies for products, including in-feed, injectable, oral and topical formulations developed in conjunction with our manufacturing team to assure production that leverages the capabilities within our internal and external manufacturing network.
Individuals lead our R&D organization with deep technical knowledge and substantial experience in discovery research, clinical sciences, and technological development across our pet health and farm animal product categories. We execute the R&D pipeline using a fully integrated global network of labs, service centers, and development sites supported by a network of third-party alliances. We also have a significant international regulatory operation that manages new product submissions and ensures ongoing compliance for our existing commercial portfolio.
Portfolio investment decisions and prioritization are influenced by the probability of technical success, economic value, time to market, and portfolio fit and balance. We have a matrix organizational structure with dedicated and highly experienced project leaders with clinical, technical development and regulatory expertise and support systems. We believe this approach will allow us to consistently progress our multi-year innovation projects toward regulatory approvals, while ensuring clear visibility to the innovation portfolio composition, value, and progress.
Manufacturing and Supply Chain
Our products are manufactured both at sites operated by us and sites operated by third-party contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs). We have a global manufacturing network of 18 sites comprised of the following:
|Barueri, Brazil||Kiel, Germany||Clinton, Indiana|
|Prince Edward Island, Canada||Santa Clara, Mexico||Terre Haute, Indiana|
|Chengdu, China||Manukau, New Zealand||Fort Dodge, Iowa|
|Wusi, China||Banwol, South Korea||Elwood, Kansas|
|Huningue, France||Chungli, Taiwan||Kansas City, Kansas|
|Cuxhaven, Germany||Binh Duong, Vietnam||Winslow, Maine|
Our global manufacturing and supply chain is also supported by a network of CMOs. As of December 31, 2022, this network was comprised of approximately 150 CMOs. Our external manufacturing network centrally governs our global CMO relationships and provides oversight to these CMOs.
We select CMOs based on several factors, including: (i) their ability to reliably supply products or materials that meet our quality standards at an optimized cost; (ii) their access to specialty products and technologies; (iii) capacity; (iv) financial analyses; and (v) local presence. Our external manufacturing network seeks to ensure that all the CMOs we use adhere to our standards of manufacturing quality.
We purchase certain raw materials necessary for the commercial production of our products from a variety of third-party suppliers. We utilize logistics service providers as a part of our global supply chain, primarily for shipping and logistics support.
We intend to continue our efficiency improvement programs in our manufacturing and supply chain organization. We have strong globally managed and coordinated quality control and quality assurance programs in place at all internal manufacturing sites and external manufacturing hubs, and we regularly inspect and audit our internal sites and CMO locations.
We face intense competition globally. Competition may vary depending on the particular region, species, product category, or individual product. We compete principally on the basis of product quality, price, cost-effectiveness, promotional effectiveness, new product development and product differentiation. Certain products, both existing and new products that we introduce, may compete with other branded or generic products already on the market or that are later developed by competitors. When competitors introduce new products with ease-of-use, therapeutic or cost advantages, our products may become subject to decreased sales and/or price reductions.
Our primary competitors include animal health medicines and vaccines companies such as Zoetis Inc.; Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., the animal health division of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH; and Merck Animal Health, the animal health division of Merck & Co., Inc. We also face competition globally from manufacturers of generic drugs, as well as from producers of nutritional health products, such as DSM Nutritional Products AG and Danisco Animal Nutrition, the animal health division of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, a subsidiary of DowDuPont, Inc. There are also several new start-up companies working in the animal health area. In addition, we compete with numerous other producers of animal health products throughout the world.
Our technology, brands and other intellectual property are important elements of our business. We rely on patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret laws, as well as regulatory exclusivity periods and non-disclosure agreements to protect our intellectual property rights. Our policy is to vigorously protect, enforce and defend our rights to our intellectual property, as appropriate.
Our product portfolio and certain product candidates enjoy the protection of approximately 6,500 patents and applications, filed in over 90 countries, with concentration in our major markets as well as other markets with strong patent systems, such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Japan and the U.S. While many of the patents and patent applications in our portfolio are the result of our own work, others have been developed in collaboration with partners, acquired through business transactions, or licensed to us by third parties. A subset of our current products or product candidates are covered by patents and patent applications in our portfolio.
Patents for individual products expire at different times based on the date of the patent filing (or sometimes the date of patent grant) and the legal term of patents in the countries where such patents are obtained. Below is a summary of our recent and upcoming key patent expirations:
•Galliprant’s active ingredient, grapiprant, is encompassed by both compound and physical form patents in the U.S., Europe, Canada and other key markets, with terms expiring between October 2021 and March 2026. Expirations in 2021 related to compound patents in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Each of these markets have physical form patents that continue beyond 2021. At this time, there is no indication of market entry for a generic version of Galliprant in these regions.
•Various formulation and method of use patents encompass the spinosad pesticide products, Comfortis and Trifexis. The Comfortis formulation patent extends through August 2025 in Europe but expired in August 2020 in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The Trifexis formulation and method of use patents extend through September 2026 in Europe but expired in September 2021 in the U.S., Canada and Australia. At this time, there are no indications of market entries for generic versions of Comfortis or Trifexis in the U.S., Canada or Australia.
•The Seresto formulation patent will expire in the U.S. in September 2027. In Europe, the formulation patents will expire in June 2025, but in some countries, including Spain and the U.K., supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) have been granted which expire in September 2026.
•The Milbemax formulation patents extend through July 2024 in the U.S., Europe, and other key markets.
•Certain legacy Advantage Family products acquired from Bayer Animal Health, including Advantage, Advantix, Advocate, and Advantage Multi are off patent.
We typically maintain all of our patents and assert our patent rights against third parties as appropriate.
Additionally, many of our vaccine products, including the TruCan family of vaccines, are based on proprietary or patented master seeds and formulations. We actively seek to protect our proprietary information, including our trade secrets and proprietary know-how, through a variety of means, including by seeking to require our employees, consultants, advisors and partners to enter into confidentiality agreements and other arrangements upon the commencement of their employment or engagement.
We seek to file and maintain trademarks around the world based on commercial activities in most regions where we have, or desire to have, a business presence for a particular product. We currently maintain more than 14,500 trademark applications and registrations in major regions, primarily identifying products dedicated to the care of livestock and pets.
The sale of animal health products is governed by the laws and regulations specific to each country in which we sell our products. To maintain compliance with these regulatory requirements, we have established processes, systems, and dedicated resources with end-to-end involvement from product concept to launch and maintenance in the market. Our regulatory function is Elanco's key interface with the relevant authorities. It is responsible for applying for and obtaining the necessary registrations and post-approvals: extending them if appropriate (e.g., developing claims in additional species), updating (e.g., changes to shelf-life or manufacturing site), and ongoing monitoring of safety and efficacy through our global pharmacovigilance system. In this way, the regulatory function ensures registrations remain valid, and the products can continue to be sold. To effectively do this, the regulatory function actively engages in dialogue with the relevant authorities regarding their policies that relate to animal health products. In most of our markets, the relevant authority is separate from those governing human medicinal products.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The regulatory body that is responsible for the regulation of animal health pharmaceuticals in the U.S. is the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), a division of the FDA. All manufacturers of animal health pharmaceuticals must demonstrate their products to be safe, effective and produced by a consistent method of manufacture as defined under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The FDA’s basis for approving a new animal drug application is documented in a Freedom of Information Summary. Post-approval monitoring of products is required by law, with reports being provided to the CVM’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance. Reports of product quality defects, adverse events, or unexpected results are maintained and submitted in accordance with the law. Additionally, as part of the drug experience report, we are required to submit all new information pertaining to the safety or effectiveness of a product, regardless of the source.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. The regulatory body in the U.S. for veterinary biologicals is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Center for Veterinary Biologics within the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in the USDA is responsible for the regulation of animal health biologicals, which includes but is not limited to vaccines, bacterins, allergens, certain antibodies, antitoxins, toxoids, immunostimulants, certain cytokines, antigenic or immunizing components of live microorganisms, and diagnostic components of natural or synthetic origin, or that are derived from synthesizing or altering various substances or components of substances such as microorganisms, genes or genetic sequences, carbohydrates, proteins, antigens, allergens or antibodies. All manufacturers of animal health biologicals must show their products to be pure, safe, effective and produced by a consistent method of manufacture as defined under the Virus Serum Toxin Act. Post-approval monitoring of products is required. Reports of product quality defects, adverse events or unexpected results are maintained and submitted in accordance with the agency requirements.
Environmental Protection Agency. The main regulatory body in the U.S. for veterinary pesticides is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs is responsible for the regulation of most pesticide products applied to animals in accordance with a memorandum of understanding between the FDA and EPA for products that are subject to regulation under both the FFDCA and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act. All manufacturers of animal health pesticides must show their products will not cause unreasonable adverse effects to humans or the environment as stated in the act. Within the U.S., individual state pesticide authorities must also approve pesticide products that have been approved by the EPA before distribution in that state. Post-approval monitoring of products is required, with reports provided to the EPA and some state regulatory agencies.
Food Safety Inspection Service. The FDA is authorized to determine the safety of substances (including “generally recognized as safe” substances, food additives and color additives), as well as prescribe their safe conditions of use. However, although the FDA has the responsibility for determining the safety of substances, the Food Safety and Inspection Service, the public health agency within the USDA, still retains, under the tenets of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act and their implementing regulations, the authority to determine whether new substances and new uses of previously approved substances are suitable for use in meat and poultry products.
European Union (EU). We are governed by the following EU regulatory bodies in addition to each of the national regulatory bodies in the EU:
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a centralized agency of the EU responsible for the scientific evaluation of many of the Veterinary Medicinal Products (VMP) developed by pharmaceutical companies for use in the EU. The agency has a veterinary review section distinct from the medical review section for human products. The Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products (CVMP) is responsible for scientific review of the submissions for VMP, including immunological products. If the CVMP concludes that all requirements for quality, safety and efficacy are met and the product benefits outweigh the risks, it issues a positive opinion that is forwarded to the European Commission, which takes the final decision following the European comitology procedure. The centralized marketing authorization is valid in all of the EU and in Northern Ireland. All countries that are not part of the EU but belong to the European Economic Area (EEA), i.e., Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, have been part of the scientific assessment done by the CVMP. These countries issue a national marketing approval in accordance with the European Commission's decision.
If approval is sought for products that either cannot or do not need to follow the centralized procedure, approval can also be achieved by national approval in an EEA country agency. This national authorization can be mutually recognized by other EEA countries/EU member states (Mutual Recognition Procedure). In addition, national and mutual recognition can be done in a combined procedure (Decentralized Procedure).
A series of regulations, directives, guidelines, EU Pharmacopeia Monographs and other legislation provide the requirements for approval in the EU. In general, these requirements are similar to those in the U.S., requiring demonstrated evidence of purity, safety, efficacy and consistency of manufacturing processes.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the agency of the EU that provides scientific advice and communicates with respect to existing and emerging risks associated with the food chain. Based on EFSA’s mandate, it evaluates applications for feed additives, including coccidiostats, enzymes and several nutritionals for animals.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is the agency of the EU for the safe use of chemicals. Based on the ECHA’s mandate, it conducts the evaluation of biocides for the EU.
Since the U.K. formally left the EU on January 31, 2020, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) became the main regulatory body in the U.K. responsible for regulating and controlling veterinary pharmaceuticals. The U.K. and the EU reached a trade deal in December 2020, which went into effect in May 2021. The agreement includes regulatory and customs cooperation mechanisms, as well as provisions supporting open and fair competition. The Northern Ireland protocol, which is part of the trade deal, requires that VMD follow EU rules in Northern Ireland. Laws applying to the rest of the U.K. could now diverge but currently remain largely aligned.
Brazil. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Production and Supply (MAPA) is the regulatory body in Brazil that is responsible for the regulation and control of pharmaceuticals, biologicals and medicinal feed additives for animal use. MAPA’s regulatory activities are conducted through the Secretary of Agricultural Defense and its Livestock Products Inspection Department. In addition, regulatory activities are conducted at a local level through the Federal Agriculture Superintendence. These activities include the inspection and licensing of both manufacturing and commercial establishments for veterinary products, as well as the submission, review and approval of pharmaceuticals, biologicals and medicinal feed additives. MAPA is one of the most active regulatory agencies in Latin America, having permanent seats at several international animal health forums, such as Codex Alimentarius, World Organization for Animal Health and Committee of Veterinary Medicines for the Americas.
Japan. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (MAFF) is the regulatory body in Japan that is responsible for the regulation and control of pharmaceuticals (including biologicals and pesticide/disinfectant) and feed additives/feed for animal use. MAFF’s regulatory activities are conducted through the Livestock & Aquaculture Product Safety Control Division under Consumer Safety Bureau. The animal drug reviews and approvals, reexamination reviews, GxP compliance checks, GxP site inspections and product assay checks (including vaccine national assays) are done by National Veterinary Assay Laboratory (NVAL). MAFF coordinates with other agencies such as Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) and Food Safety Commission (FSC) to perform various license compliance checks (e.g., marketing authorization holder, manufacturer and oversea site accreditation) and ensure good promotional activities. Routine inspections, antimicrobial feed additive national assays and manufacturing inspections are done by the Food & Agriculture Material Inspection Center. For farm animal products, animal drug review is done by NVAL but the human food safety review is done by FSC (ADI establishment and antimicrobial risk assessment) and MHLW (MRL establishment). These three agencies (NVAL, FSC and MHLW) work together to approve farm animal products. In addition to those central government agencies, various licenses are delegated to the local municipal government, such as animal drug wholesaler and retailer licenses and feed additive distributor licenses.
China. The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is the regulatory body that is responsible for the regulation and control of pharmaceuticals, biologicals, disinfectants, medicinal feed additives, pesticide and feed/feed additives for animal use. There are three organizations under the MOA that regulate animal health:
The Institute of Veterinary Drug Control is responsible for the evaluation of new applications, renewals, variations, manufacturers, quality methods and tissue residue methods for pharmaceuticals, biologicals, disinfectants and medicinal feed additives.
The feed/feed additive office is responsible for the registration and renewal of feed and feed additives.
The pesticide bureau is responsible for the registration and renewal of pesticide products.
Australia. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) is an Australian government statutory authority where the registration of all agricultural and veterinary products into the Australian marketplace is centralized. The APVMA assesses applications from companies and individuals seeking registration so they can supply their product to the marketplace. Applications undergo assessment using the expertise of the APVMA’s scientific staff and drawing on the technical knowledge of other relevant scientific organizations, Commonwealth government departments and state agriculture departments. If the product works as intended and the scientific data confirms that when used as directed on the product label it will have no harmful or unintended effects on people, animals, the environment or international trade, the APVMA will register the product. The APVMA is also responsible for post-authorization oversight, which can include reviews of registered products.
Rest of World. Country-specific regulatory laws typically have provisions that include requirements for certain labeling, safety, efficacy and manufacturers’ quality control procedures (to assure the consistency of the products), manufacturing site standards, as well as company records and reports. Other countries’ regulatory agencies typically either refer to some or all of the requirements of the U.S. or EU, but may have additional specific local requirements. Most authorities also consider the standards set by international animal health entities, including the World Organization for Animal Health, Codex Alimentarius and the International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VICH).
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives is an international expert scientific committee that is administered jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It provides a risk assessment/safety evaluation of residues of veterinary drugs in animal products, exposure and residue definition and maximum residue limit proposals for veterinary drugs. Similarly, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) is an international expert scientific group administered jointly by the FAO and WHO. JMPR reviews residues and analytical aspects of the pesticides, estimate the maximum residue levels, review toxicological data and estimate acceptable daily intakes for humans of the pesticides under consideration. Elanco works with this committee to establish acceptably safe levels of residual substances in food-producing animals after treatment with veterinary drugs or pesticides. This in turn enables the calculation of appropriate withdrawal times for our products prior to an animal entering the food chain.
Advertising and Promotion Review. Promotion of ethical animal health products is controlled by regulations in many countries. These rules generally restrict advertising and promotion to those claims and uses that have been reviewed and endorsed by the applicable agency. We conduct a review of promotion material for compliance with the local and regional requirements in the markets where we sell animal health products.
Import and Export of Products. The importation and exportation of animal health products is controlled by regulations in many countries. In some jurisdictions this may include obtaining separate permits or licenses by product or by company or filing notices with applicable regulatory agencies prior to import or export of product. We ensure compliance with local, regional and global regulations in the markets where we import/export our animal health products.
International Cooperation on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Veterinary Medicinal Products. VICH is a trilateral (EU-Japan-U.S.) program launched in 1996 aimed at harmonizing technical requirements for veterinary product registration. Several other countries have obtained observer status, for example, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and the U.K., or are linked to VICH on the basis of the VICH Outreach Forum, a VICH initiative with the main objective of providing a basis for wider international harmonization of technical requirements. In addition, the World Organization for Animal Health is an associate member of VICH.
Employees. As of December 31, 2022, we employed approximately 9,000 full time employees. In addition, we employed approximately 740 fixed-duration employees, which are individuals hired for a pre-defined length of time (one to four years). Together, they total approximately 9,740 employees worldwide. Of the 9,740 global employees, approximately 30% are U.S.-based and approximately 70% are employed in other jurisdictions. Some of these employees are members of unions, works councils, trade associations or are otherwise subject to collective bargaining agreements, including approximately 200 union employees located at our Fort Dodge, Iowa and Santa Clara, Mexico facilities.
Our Culture. At Elanco, we are committed to fostering an inclusive culture where employees can make a difference, encouraging ownership, growth, and well-being. The following gives an overview of our approach to managing human capital resources.
We commit to create a culture built on the foundation of three values and four behavioral pillars:
Values that Guide our Decisions:
Integrity - Do the right thing in the right way.
Respect - Respect people, our customers and the animals in their care.
Excellence - Be accountable. Continuously improve. Deliver with discipline.
Behavioral Pillars that Guide our Actions:
Involve - We seek participation and input to gain commitment and passionate performance and create an engaged community. We act with humility as One Elanco, collaborating for the best outcomes for the entire company.
Deliver - We focus on the essential, build mastery, and diligently deliver on our commitments to our colleagues, customers, and shareholders.
Own - We are accountable and empowered. We ask questions and raise concerns. We are fully invested in Elanco's success.
Innovate - We bring an innovative mindset that drives continuous improvement of our processes, products, and services.
Our employees are driven by these values and behavioral pillars. At Elanco, this culture drives employee performance. Leadership and employees are encouraged to evaluate performance with these values and behavioral pillars in mind.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We are focused on discovering new ways in which healthier animals can solve the world’s greatest health and environmental challenges, and this innovation is only possible through an inclusive culture of employees with diverse backgrounds, strengths, and perspectives. Our efforts to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion are critical to creating and maintaining our purpose-driven culture and strengthening our promises to our employees and customers.
Formed in 2015, our Global Elanco Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council (EDEIC) serves as a catalyst for a culture where diversity, equity and inclusion are embraced and recognized as a business-result driver. Within this framework, employee development is better supported, opinions and diverse backgrounds are embraced, and we are a stronger company. Current EDEIC focus areas include our Be You! Seminar series to raise awareness and provide a forum for an open discussion on the importance of a diverse and inclusive workplace at Elanco, strong Employee Resource Groups, an annual Multi-Cultural Summit, and actionable goals for representation of women (globally) and people of color (U.S.) in leadership.
Total Rewards. We invest in our workforce by offering competitive salaries, incentives, and benefits. Our pay for performance philosophy is designed to create ownership and help ensure that we attract and retain talent as well as reward and recognize top-performing employees through merit increases and other rewards. We benchmark our total rewards annually to ensure our compensation and benefit programs remain competitive with our peers. Our benefits are one way we support our employees’ well-being and live up to our employee promise.
Development. We offer our employees opportunities to advance their careers at Elanco and are passionate about equipping employees with skills and development opportunities to help them thrive and continually meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and other stakeholders in a dynamic and growing industry.
Beyond professional growth and development, Elanco employees actively engage in initiatives aligned to Elanco's Healthy Purpose, which is our ESG and sustainability framework, to advance the well-being of animals, people, the planet and our enterprise, enabling us to realize our vision of "Food and Companionship Enriching Life."
Environmental, Health and Safety
We are subject to various federal, state, local and foreign environmental, health and safety (EHS) laws and regulations. These laws and regulations govern matters such as: the emission and discharge of hazardous materials into the ground, air or water; the generation, use, storage, handling, treatment, packaging, transportation, exposure to, and disposal of hazardous and biological materials, including recordkeeping, reporting and registration requirements; and the health and safety of our employees. Due to our operations, these laws and regulations also require us to obtain, and comply with, permits, registrations or other authorizations issued by governmental authorities. These authorities can modify or revoke our permits, registrations or other authorizations and can enforce compliance through fines and injunctions.
Certain environmental laws impose joint and several liability, without regard to fault, for clean-up costs on persons who have disposed of or released hazardous substances into the environment, including at third-party sites or offsite disposal locations, or that currently own or operate (or formerly owned or operated) sites where such a release occurred. We could be subject to liability for the investigation and remediation of legacy environmental contamination caused by historical industrial activity at sites that we own or on which we operate. In addition to clean-up actions brought by federal, state, local and foreign governmental entities, private parties could raise personal injury or other claims against us due to the presence of, or exposure to, hazardous materials on, from or otherwise relating to such a property.
We have made, and intend to continue to make, necessary expenditures for compliance with applicable EHS laws and regulations. We are also monitoring and investigating environmental contamination from past industrial activity at certain sites. We made no capital expenditures for environmental-related items in 2022.
In connection with past divestitures, we have undertaken certain indemnification obligations that may require us, in the future, to conduct or finance environmental clean-ups at sites that we no longer own or operate. In connection with certain of our acquisitions, we have also entered into indemnification agreements pursuant to which we are, or may be, indemnified for various environmental clean-ups; however, such indemnities are limited in both time and scope and may be further limited in the presence of new information or may not be available at all.
Our website address is www.elanco.com. On our website, we make available, free of charge, our annual, quarterly and current reports, including amendments to such reports, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish such material to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC). In addition, the SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers, including Elanco, that file electronically with the SEC at www.sec.gov.
Information relating to corporate governance at Elanco, including our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Conduct, Financial Code of Ethics, Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Committee Charters; information concerning our executive officers and members of our board of directors; and ways to communicate are available on our website. We will provide any of the foregoing information without charge upon written request to Elanco’s Corporate Secretary, Elanco, 2500 Innovation Way, Greenfield, Indiana 46140. Information relating to shareholder services is also available on our website.
Information contained on our website is not part of, or incorporated by reference, in this Form 10-K.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations are subject to various risks, including but not limited to the risks described below. If any of such risks actually materializes, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Risks Related to Elanco's Business and Industry
The animal health industry is highly competitive.
The animal health industry is highly competitive. Our competitors include standalone animal health businesses, the animal health businesses of large pharmaceutical companies, specialty animal health businesses and companies that mainly produce generic products. Several new start-up companies also compete in the animal health industry. We believe many of our competitors are conducting R&D activities in areas served by our products and in areas in which we are developing products. We also face competition from manufacturers of drugs globally, as well as producers of nutritional health products. These competitors may have access to greater financial, marketing, technical and other resources. As a result, they may be able to devote more resources to developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling their products, initiating or withstanding substantial price competition or more readily taking advantage of acquisitions or other opportunities. Further, consolidation in the animal health industry could result in existing competitors realizing additional efficiencies or improving portfolio bundling opportunities, thereby potentially increasing their market share and pricing power, which could lead to a decrease in our revenue and profitability and an increase in competition. For example, many of our competitors have relationships with key distributors and, because of their size, the ability to offer attractive pricing incentives, which may negatively impact or hinder our relationships with these distributors. In addition to competition from established market participants, new entrants to the animal health medicines and vaccines industry could substantially reduce our market share, render our products obsolete or disrupt our business model.
Competitive pressure could arise from, among other things, more favorable safety and efficacy product profiles, limited demand growth or a significant number of additional competitive products being introduced into a particular market, price reductions by competitors, the ability of competitors to capitalize on their economies of scale, the ability of competitors to produce or otherwise procure animal health products at lower costs than we can and the ability of competitors to access more or newer technology than we can. To the extent that any of our competitors are more successful with respect to any key competitive factor, or we are forced to reduce, or are unable to raise, the price of any of our products in order to remain competitive, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Disruptive innovation and advances in veterinary medical practices, animal health technologies and alternatives to animal-derived protein could negatively affect the market for our products.
The markets for our products are regularly impacted by the introduction and/or broad market acceptance of newly developed or alternative products that address the diseases and conditions for which we sell products, including “green” or “holistic” health products, specially bred disease-resistant animals or replacements for meat, milk, eggs or fish from alternative natural or synthetic sources. For example, the market for our pet health therapeutics has been particularly affected by innovation in new molecules and delivery formulations in recent years. Technological breakthroughs by others may render our products obsolete and reduce or eliminate the market for our products. Introduction or acceptance of competing animal health products and innovation or disruptive protein alternatives could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our business is subject to substantial regulation.
As a global company, we are subject to various state, federal and international laws and regulations, including regulations relating to the development, quality assurance, manufacturing, importation, distribution, marketing, and sale of our products. In addition, our manufacturing facilities, including the manufacturing facilities operated by our CMOs, are subject to periodic inspections by regulatory agencies. An inspection may report conditions or practices that indicate possible violations of regulatory requirements. Our failure, or the failure of third parties we rely on, including CMOs, to comply with applicable regulatory requirements, allegations of such non-compliance or the discovery of previously unknown problems with a product or manufacturer could result in, among other things, inspection observation notices, warning letters or similar regulatory correspondence, fines, a partial or total shutdown of production in one or more of our facilities while an alleged violation is remediated, withdrawals or suspensions of current products from the market, and civil or criminal prosecution, as well as decreased sales as a result of negative publicity and product liability claims. Any one of these consequences could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, we will not be able to market new products unless and until we have obtained all required regulatory approvals in each jurisdiction where we propose to market those products. Even after a product reaches market, we may be subject to re-review and may lose our approvals. For example, pending claims have been asserted in a lawsuit against the FDA's approval of Experior™, which was one of our eight new product launches in 2021. Our failure to obtain approvals, delays in the approval process, or our failure to maintain approvals in any jurisdiction, may prevent us from selling products in that jurisdiction until approval or re-approval is obtained, if ever.
In the EU, the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation updated the rules related to the authorization and use of veterinary medicines effective January 28, 2022. The updated rules limit the use of antibiotics, tighten importation rules, and impose stricter pharmacovigilance standards. This regulation must still be implemented at the member state level and as such, additional requirements may be adopted by individual member states which would have the effect of increasing the compliance requirements for our business in the EU with resulting costs.
Regulatory restrictions and bans on the use of antibiotics and productivity products in farm animals, as well as changing market demand, may continue to negatively affect demand for certain of our farm animal products.
Over the past few years, our operational results have been, and may continue to be, affected by regulations and changing market demand. In certain markets, including the U.S., sales of certain of our farm animal products have been negatively affected by an increase in consumer sentiment for proteins and dairy products produced without the use of antibiotics or other products intended to increase animal production.
There are two classes of antibiotics used in animal health: shared-class, or medically important, antibiotics, which are used to treat infectious disease caused by pathogens that occur in both humans and animals; and animal-only antibiotics, which are used to treat infectious disease caused by pathogens that occur in animals only. For more information, see “Item 1. Business — Products — Antibiotics.” Concerns that the use of antibiotics in farm animal production may lead to increased antibiotic resistance of human pathogens have resulted in increased regulation and changing market demand. In December 2013, the FDA announced final guidance establishing procedures for the voluntary phase-out in the U.S. over a three-year period of the use of shared-class antibiotics in animal feed or water for growth promotion in farm animal production. The guidance allows for continued use of shared-class antibiotics in food-producing animals under the supervision of a veterinarian for treatment, control and, under certain circumstances, for prevention of disease. The FDA indicated that it took this action to help preserve the efficacy of shared-class antibiotics to treat infections in humans. As of January 1, 2017, under the FDA’s guidance and the related rule known as the Veterinary Feed Directive, the use of shared-class antibiotics in the water or feed of food-producing animals requires written authorization by a licensed veterinarian. In June 2021, the FDA announced final guidance establishing procedures for drug sponsors to make similar changes to the approved marketing status of all other dosage forms of shared-class antibiotics to permit their use only under the supervision of a veterinarian, and only when necessary for treatment, control or prevention of specific diseases. The only products we currently market that are impacted by this guidance are Tylan™ 200 and Tylan™ 50, which will be transitioned from over-the-counter to prescription status. In addition, other countries in which we sell or plan to sell our products, such as France and Vietnam, have passed restrictions or bans on antibiotic use. Other countries have placed restrictions or bans on the use of specific antibiotics in certain food-producing animals, regardless of the route of administration (in feed or injectable).
From 2015 to 2022, our revenue from shared-class antibiotics has declined at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1%, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates. This was driven primarily by changing regulations in many markets, including the Veterinary Feed Directive, as well as changing market demand and our tiered approach to antibiotic stewardship, which included removing growth promotion from labels and requiring veterinary oversight in the U.S. and other markets. Globally, during 2022, our revenue from shared-class antibiotics decreased approximately 11% in comparison to 2021, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, and represented 8% (3% from sales in the U.S. and 5% from international sales) of total revenue, down from 16% in 2015. The comparison to 2015 is impacted by our 2020 acquisition of Bayer Animal Health, which added certain shared-class antibiotics to our portfolio while significantly increasing our overall annual revenue.
From 2015 to 2022, we experienced a flat CAGR in revenue from animal-only antibiotics, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates. During 2022, our revenue from animal-only antibiotics increased approximately 2% in comparison to 2021, excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates, and represented 15% (6% from sales in the U.S. and 9% from international sales) and of total revenue, down from 23% in 2015. In 2022, 13% of our revenue from animal-only antibiotics resulted from the sale of ionophores. Ionophores are a special class of animal-only antimicrobials, and because of their animal-only designation, mode of action and spectrum of activity, their use has not to date been impacted by regulations or changing market demand in many international markets.
The impact of changes in regulations and market preferences regarding the use of antibiotics in farm animals could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. If there is an increased public perception that consumption of food derived from animals that utilize our products poses a risk to human health, there may be a further decline in the production of those food products and, in turn, demand for our products. In addition, antibiotic resistance concerns will likely result in additional restrictions or bans, expanded regulations or public pressure to further reduce the use of antibiotics in farm animals, increased demand for antibiotic-free protein, or changes in the market acceptance or regulatory treatment of ionophores, any of which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, our revenue has been impacted by changing trade dynamics with China and other markets that restrict the use of productivity products, such as those containing ractopamine, in farm animals. This has resulted in many U.S. food producers eliminating their use of ractopamine to gain access to those markets. Our farm animal products Optaflexx™ and Paylean™ contain ractopamine. If more producers decide to access such markets or additional markets restrict the use of ractopamine or other productivity products, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Increased regulation or decreased governmental financial support relating to the raising, processing or consumption of farm animals could reduce demand for our farm animal products.
Companies in the farm animal sector are subject to extensive and increasingly stringent regulations. See "Item 1. Business — Regulatory" for further discussion. If farm animal producers are adversely affected by new regulations or changes to existing regulations, they may reduce herd or flock sizes or become less profitable and, as a result, they may reduce their use of our products, which may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. Also, many farm animal producers benefit from governmental subsidies, and if such subsidies were to be reduced or eliminated, these companies may become less profitable and, as a result, may reduce their use of our farm animal products. More stringent regulation of the farm animal sector, including regarding the use of farm animal products, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our results of operations are dependent upon the success of our top products.
If any of our top products experience issues, such as disruptive innovations or the introduction of more effective competitive products, negative publicity, changes to veterinarian or customer preferences, loss of patent protection, material product liability litigation, new or unexpected side effects, manufacturing disruptions and/or regulatory proceedings, our revenue could be negatively impacted, perhaps significantly. Our top five products, Seresto, Rumensin, Advocate, Advantix, and Maxiban contributed approximately 24% of our revenue in 2022. Any issues with these top products, particularly Seresto and Rumensin, which contributed approximately 8% and 6%, respectively, of our revenue in 2022, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Generic products may be viewed as more cost-effective than our products.
We face competition from products produced by other companies, including generic alternatives to our products. We depend on patents and regulatory data exclusivity periods to provide us with exclusive marketing rights for some of our products. Patents for individual products expire at different times based on the date of the patent filing (or sometimes the date of patent grant) and the legal term of patents in the jurisdictions where such patents are obtained. The extent of protection afforded by our patents varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and is limited by the scope of the claimed subject matter of our patents, the term of the patent and the availability and enforcement of legal remedies in the applicable jurisdiction. Some of our top products such as the Advantage Family, Rumensin, Maxiban, Denagard and Tylan Premix do not have patent protection. Other products are protected by patents that expire over the next several years. As the patents for a brand name product expire, competitors may begin to introduce generic or other alternatives, and as a result, we may face competition from lower-priced alternatives to many of our products. For example, in the third quarter of 2019, an established animal health company received U.S. approval for generic monensin in cattle and goats for certain indications. U.S. revenue from Rumensin, our monensin product, declined at a CAGR of 3% from 2015 to 2022 partly due to competition and may continue to decline as a result of the generic competition. We may face similar competition in the future for existing products that do not benefit from exclusivity or for existing products with material patents expiring in the future. For further information, see "Item 1. Business — Intellectual Property.”
Generic competitors are becoming more aggressive in terms of launching products before patent rights expire, and, because of attractive pricing, sales of generic products are an increasing percentage of overall animal health sales in certain regions. Although the impact of generic competition in the animal health industry to date has not typically mirrored that seen in human health, product pricing and the impact of generic competition in the future may more closely mirror human health as a result of changes in industry dynamics, such as channel expansion, consolidation, an increase in the availability and use of pet insurance and the potential for generic competition by established animal health businesses. If animal health customers increase their use of new or existing generic products, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Consolidation of our customers and distributors could negatively affect the pricing of our products.
Third-party distributors, veterinarians and farm animal producers are our primary customers. In recent years, there has been a trend toward the concentration of veterinarians in large clinics and hospitals. In addition, farm animal producers, particularly swine and poultry producers, and our distributors have seen recent consolidation in their industries. Furthermore, we have seen the expansion of larger cross-border corporate customers and an increase in the consolidation of buying groups (cooperatives of veterinary practices that leverage volume to pursue discounts from manufacturers). The pace of consolidation and structure of markets varies greatly across geographies. If these trends toward consolidation continue, our customers could attempt to improve their profitability by leveraging their buying power to obtain favorable pricing. The resulting decrease in our prices could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
An outbreak of infectious disease carried by farm animals could negatively affect the demand for, and sale and production of, our farm animal products.
Sales of our farm animal products could be materially adversely affected by a general outbreak of infectious disease, or an outbreak of disease carried by farm animals, which could lead to the widespread death or precautionary destruction of farm animals as well as the reduced consumption and demand for animal protein. In addition, outbreaks of disease carried by farm animals may reduce regional or global sales of particular animal-derived food products or result in reduced exports of such products, either due to heightened export restrictions or import prohibitions, which may reduce demand for our farm animal products due to reduced herd or flock sizes.
In recent years, outbreaks of various diseases, including African Swine Fever, avian influenza, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (otherwise known as BSE or “mad cow” disease) and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (otherwise known as PEDV) have negatively impacted sales of our animal health products. The discovery of additional cases of any of these, or new, diseases may result in additional restrictions on animal protein, reduced herd or flock sizes, or reduced demand for animal protein, any of which may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the outbreak of any highly contagious disease near our main production sites could require us to immediately halt production of our products at such sites or force us to incur substantial expenses in procuring raw materials or products elsewhere.
We could experience demand, supply and operational challenges associated with the effects of a human disease outbreak, epidemic, pandemic or other widespread public health concern.
Our business has been and may continue to be negatively impacted by human disease outbreaks, epidemics, pandemics or other widespread public health concerns, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, including its variants, and the related travel restrictions and governmental mandates. These impacts include, but are not limited to:
•Reductions in demand or significant volatility in demand for one or more of our products, caused by, among other things: the temporary inability of our customers to purchase our products due to illness, quarantine, travel restrictions, and/or financial hardship; decreased veterinary visits; farm animal processing plant shutdowns; shifts in demand by trading down to lower priced products; or stockpiling activity;
•Inability to meet customer needs and achieve cost targets due to disruptions in our manufacturing and supply chains caused by labor constraints or inability to obtain key raw materials, increased transportation costs, or other manufacturing and distribution disruptions;
•Failure of third parties on which we rely, including our suppliers, contract manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and other external business partners, to meet their obligations, which may be caused by their own financial or operational challenges;
•Limited ability to access the global financial market, which could negatively impact our short-term and long-term liquidity; or
•Significant changes in the political environments in the markets in which we manufacture, sell or distribute our products, including lockdowns, import/export restrictions, or other governmental mandates that limit or close operating and manufacturing facilities, restrict travel to perform necessary business functions, or otherwise prevent us or our third-party partners, suppliers or customers from sufficiently staffing operations, including operations necessary for the production, distribution and sale of our products.
Despite our efforts to manage and limit these impacts, they are ultimately dependent on factors beyond our control, including the duration and severity of any such outbreak as well as third-party actions taken to contain its spread and mitigate its effects. For COVID-19, the emergence of variants may continue to occur across the geographies in which we operate, leading to varied government and consumer responses, resulting in further volatility in our results and operations.
Our R&D, acquisition and licensing efforts may fail to generate new products or expand the use of our existing products.
Our future success depends on both our existing product portfolio and our pipeline of new products, including new products that we may develop through joint ventures and products that we are able to obtain through licenses or acquisitions, including the acquisitions of Bayer Animal Health and KindredBio. We commit substantial effort, funds and other resources to R&D, primarily through our own dedicated resources but also through collaborations with third parties.
We may be unable to determine with accuracy when or whether any of our products now under development will be approved or launched, or we may be unable to develop, license or otherwise acquire product candidates or products. In addition, we cannot predict whether any products, once launched, will be commercially successful or will achieve revenue that is consistent with our expectations. The animal health industry is subject to regional and local trends and regulations and, as a result, products that are successful in some markets may not achieve similar success when introduced into other markets. Furthermore, the timing and cost of our R&D may increase, and our R&D may become less predictable as, among other things, regulations applicable to our industry may make it more time-consuming and/or costly to research, develop and register products. If we are unable to generate new products or expand the use of our existing products, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
As part of our development strategy, we often hire clinical research organizations to perform preclinical testing and clinical trials for drug candidates. Clinical trials and procedures are inherently uncertain and there can be no assurance that these trials or procedures will be enrolled or completed in a timely or cost-effective manner or result in a commercially viable product or indication. Failure to do so could have a material adverse effect on our prospects. Furthermore, unfavorable or inconsistent clinical data from current or future clinical trials or procedures
conducted by us, our competitors or third parties, or perceptions regarding this clinical data, could adversely affect our ability to obtain necessary approvals and the market’s view of our future prospects.
The misuse or off-label use of our products may harm our reputation or result in financial or other damages.
Our products have been approved for use under specific circumstances for the treatment of certain diseases and conditions in specific species. There may be increased risk of product liability claims if veterinarians, farm animal producers, pet owners or others attempt to use our products off-label, including the use of our products in species (including humans) for which they have not been approved. Furthermore, the use of our products for indications other than those for which our products have been approved may not be effective, which could harm our reputation and lead to an increased risk of litigation. If we are deemed by a governmental or regulatory agency to have engaged in the promotion of any of our products for off-label use, such agency could request that we modify our training or promotional materials and practices, and we could be subject to significant fines and penalties, and the imposition of these sanctions could also affect our reputation and position within the industry. Any of these events could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The actual or purported intellectual property rights of third parties may negatively affect our business.
A third party may sue us, or our distributors or licensors, or otherwise make a claim alleging infringement or other violation of such third-party’s patents, trademarks, trade dress, copyrights, trade secrets, domain names or other intellectual property rights. If our distributors, licensors or we do not prevail in this type of litigation, we may be required to:
•pay monetary damages;
•obtain a license in order to continue manufacturing or marketing the affected products, which may not be available on commercially reasonable terms, or at all; or
•stop activities, including any commercial activities, relating to the affected products, which could include a recall of the affected products and/or a cessation of sales in the future.
The costs of defending an intellectual property claim could be substantial and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, even if we successfully defend such claim. Moreover, even if we believe that we do not infringe a validly existing third-party patent, we may choose to license such patent, which would result in associated costs and obligations. We may also incur costs in connection with an obligation to indemnify a distributor, licensor or other third party.
The intellectual property positions of animal health medicines and vaccines businesses frequently involve complex legal and factual questions, and an issued patent does not guarantee us the right to practice the patented technology or develop, manufacture or commercialize the patented product. For example, while we generally enter into proprietary information agreements with our employees and third parties, which assign intellectual property rights to us, these agreements may not be honored or may not effectively assign intellectual property rights to us under the local laws of some countries or jurisdictions. We cannot be certain that a competitor or other third party does not have or will not obtain rights to intellectual property that may prevent us from manufacturing, developing or marketing certain of our products, regardless of whether we believe such intellectual property rights are valid and enforceable or we believe we would otherwise be able to develop a more commercially successful product, which may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
If our intellectual property rights are challenged or circumvented, competitors may be able to take advantage of our R&D efforts or harm the value of our brands.
Our long-term success depends on our ability to market innovative and competitive products. We rely and expect to continue to rely on a combination of intellectual property, including patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright, trade secret and domain name protection, as well as confidentiality and license agreements with our employees and others, to protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights. If we fail to obtain and maintain adequate intellectual property protection, we may not be able to prevent third parties from using our proprietary technologies or from marketing products that are very similar or identical to ours.
Our currently pending or future patent applications may not result in issued patents, or be approved on a timely basis, if at all. Similarly, any term extensions that we seek may not be approved on a timely basis, if at all. In addition, our issued patents, or any patents that may issue in the future, may not contain claims sufficiently broad to protect us against third parties with similar technologies or products or provide us with any competitive advantage, including exclusivity in a particular product area.
The validity and scope of our patent claims also may vary between countries, as individual countries have their own patent laws. For example, some countries only permit the issuance of patents covering a novel chemical compound itself, and its first use, and thus further methods of use for the same compound may not be patentable. The validity, enforceability, scope and effective term of patents can be highly uncertain and often involve complex legal and factual questions and proceedings that vary based on the local law of the relevant jurisdiction. Our ability to enforce our patents also depends on the laws of individual countries and each country’s practice with respect to enforcement of intellectual property rights. Patent protection must be obtained on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, and we only pursue patent protection in countries where we think it makes commercial sense for the given product. In addition, if we are unable to maintain our existing license agreements or other agreements pursuant to which third parties grant us rights to intellectual property, including because such agreements terminate, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
Patent law reform in the U.S. and other countries may also weaken our ability to enforce our patent rights or make such enforcement financially unattractive. The America Invents Act permits enhanced third-party actions for challenging patents and implements a first-to-invent system. These reforms could result in increased costs to protect our intellectual property or limit our ability to obtain and maintain patent protection for our products in these jurisdictions. Additionally, certain foreign governments have indicated that compulsory licenses to patents may be granted in the case of national emergencies, which could diminish or eliminate sales and profits from those regions and materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Our trademarks and brands may provide us with a competitive advantage in the market as they may be known or trusted by consumers. In order to maintain the value of such brands, we must be able to enforce and defend our trademarks. We have pursued and will continue to pursue the registration of trademarks and service marks in the U.S. and internationally; however, enforcing rights against those who knowingly or unknowingly dilute or infringe our brands can be difficult. Effective trademark, service mark, trade dress or related protections may not be available in every country in which our products and services are available. Enforcement is especially difficult in first-to-file countries where “trademark squatters” can prevent us from obtaining adequate protections for our brands. There can be no assurance that the steps we have taken and will take to protect our proprietary rights in our brands and trademarks will be adequate or that third parties will not infringe, dilute or misappropriate our brands, trademarks, trade dress or other similar proprietary rights.
Many of our products are based on or incorporate proprietary information. We actively seek to protect our proprietary information, including our trade secrets and proprietary know-how, by generally requiring our employees, consultants, other advisors and other third parties to execute proprietary information and confidentiality agreements upon the commencement of their employment, engagement or other relationship. Despite these efforts and precautions, we may be unable to prevent a third party from copying or otherwise obtaining and using our trade secrets or our other intellectual property without authorization and legal remedies may not adequately compensate us for the damages caused by such unauthorized use. Further, others may independently and lawfully develop substantially similar or identical products that circumvent our intellectual property by means of alternative designs or processes or otherwise.
The illegal distribution and sale by third parties of counterfeit or illegally compounded versions of our products or of stolen, diverted or relabeled products could have a negative impact on our reputation and business.
Third parties may illegally distribute and sell counterfeit or illegally compounded versions of our products that do not meet the exacting standards of our development, manufacturing and distribution processes. Counterfeit or illegally compounded medicines pose a significant risk to animal health and safety because of the conditions under which they are manufactured and the lack of regulation of their contents. Counterfeit or illegally compounded products are frequently unsafe or ineffective and can be potentially life-threatening to animals. Our reputation and business could suffer harm as a result of counterfeit or illegally compounded products which are alleged to be equivalent and/or which are sold under our brand name. In addition, products stolen or unlawfully diverted from inventory, warehouses, plants or while in transit, which are not properly stored or which have an expired shelf life and which have been repackaged or relabeled and which are sold through unauthorized channels, could adversely impact animal health and safety, our reputation and our business. With the acquisition of the Bayer Animal Health business, we have now expanded our business more into direct to retailer and e-commerce channels in order to meet the pet owners where they want to purchase, which may increase the risk of counterfeiting of our products. Public loss of confidence in the integrity of vaccines and/or pharmaceutical products as a result of counterfeiting, illegal compounding or theft could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Unanticipated safety, quality or efficacy concerns or identified concerns associated with our products may harm our reputation and have an adverse impact on our performance.
Unanticipated safety, quality or efficacy concerns arise from time to time with respect to animal health products, whether or not scientifically or clinically supported, potentially leading to product recalls, withdrawals or suspended or declining sales, as well as product liability and other claims. Regulatory actions based on these types of safety, quality or efficacy concerns could impact all, or a significant portion, of a product’s sales.
For example, lawsuits seeking actual damages, injunctive relief, and/or restitution for allegedly deceptive marketing have been filed against us arising out of the use of Seresto, a non-prescription flea and tick collar for cats and dogs, based on reports alleging that the collar has caused injury and death to pets. Further, a U.S. House of Representatives' subcommittee chair requested that we produce certain documents and information related to the Seresto collar, made a request to temporarily remove Seresto collars from the market and, during a hearing at which our President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) testified, again called for removal of the collars from the market. Similar actions relating to Seresto could be taken by regulatory agencies. If any such claims with respect to Seresto or our other products are resolved adversely to us, or if a regulatory agency determines that a recall of any of our products, including Seresto, is necessary, such action could cause harm to our reputation, reduce our product sales, result in monetary penalties and other costly remedies against us, and could therefore have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, we depend on positive perceptions of the safety, quality and efficacy of our products, and animal health products in general, by food producers, veterinarians and pet owners. Any concern as to the safety, quality or efficacy of our products, whether actual or perceived, may harm our reputation. These concerns, including those relating to Seresto, and the related harm to our reputation could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, regardless of whether such reports are accurate.
We may not successfully implement our business strategies or achieve targeted cost efficiencies and gross margin improvements.
We are pursuing strategic initiatives that management considers critical to our long-term success, including, but not limited to: improving manufacturing processes, reducing our manufacturing footprint, achieving lean initiatives, consolidating our CMO network, strategically insourcing projects, pursuing cost savings opportunities through alternate sources of supply and improving the productivity of our sales force. Following the acquisition of Bayer Animal Health and again in 2021, we conducted restructuring programs which included the elimination of positions across several countries, primarily in sales and marketing, R&D, manufacturing and quality, and back-office support. There are significant risks involved with the execution of these restructuring programs, including costly expenses related to severance, asset impairment and other charges as well as business disruption, loss of accumulated knowledge and procedural efficiency, failure to achieve some or all of the benefits of the restructuring programs,
lawsuits arising from the restructuring programs, and the need for a significant amount of management and other employees’ time and focus, which may divert attention from operating the business. We may pursue additional strategic initiatives in the future to improve gross margins and achieve our targeted cost efficiencies. We also have acquired or partnered with a number of smaller animal health businesses, and we intend to continue to do so in the future. There are significant risks involved with the execution of these initiatives, including significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, many of which are outside of our control. Accordingly, we may not succeed in implementing these strategic initiatives. Realizing the anticipated benefits from these initiatives, if any benefits are achieved at all, may take several years. We may be unable to achieve our targeted cost efficiencies and gross margin improvements. Additionally, we may have insufficient access to capital to fund investments in strategic initiatives, or our business strategy may change from time to time, which could delay our ability to implement initiatives that we believe are important to our business.
Our business results fluctuate due to seasonality and other factors and the extent of such fluctuations may be unpredictable.
Historically, our operating results have fluctuated during the year, and we expect these fluctuations to continue. For example, on average, approximately 75% and 60% of total annual revenue contribution from our higher-margin parasiticide products Seresto and Advantage Family, respectively, occurs in the first half of the year. This dynamic is reflective of the flea and tick season in the Northern Hemisphere.
Other factors that may cause our operating results to fluctuate are:
•weather conditions, including those related to climate change, and the availability of natural resources;
•increased or decreased inventory levels in our distribution channels;
•timing of customer orders and deliveries;
•competitive changes, such as price changes or new product introductions that we or our competitors may make;
•timing of marketing programs and events; and
•availability of veterinarians to use our products, as there are seasonal impacts, due to veterinarian vacations or training events that limit their ability to serve their customers that result in the use of our products.
For more detailed information on some of the above-listed factors that can cause fluctuations in our operating results, see risks described below under the headings "Our business may be negatively affected by weather conditions and the availability of natural resources" and "Increased or decreased inventory levels in our distribution channels can lead to fluctuations in our revenues and variations in our payment terms extended to our distributors can impact our cash flows."
Accordingly, the fluctuations in our revenues due to seasonality and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, mean period-to-period comparisons of our historical results are not necessarily meaningful. Investors should not rely on such fluctuations as an indication of our future performance. To the extent that we experience the factors described above, our future operating results may not meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors, which may cause the market price of our common stock to decline.
Our business may be negatively affected by weather conditions and the availability of natural resources.
The animal health industry and demand for many of our products in a particular region are affected by weather conditions, including those related to climate change, varying weather patterns and weather-related pressures from pests, such as ticks. As a result, we may experience regional and seasonal fluctuations in our results of operations.
Farm animal producers depend on the availability of natural resources, including large supplies of fresh water. Their animals’ health and their ability to operate could be adversely affected if they experience a shortage of fresh water due to human population growth or floods, droughts or other weather conditions. In the event of adverse weather conditions or a shortage of fresh water, veterinarians or farm animal producers may purchase less of our products.
Further, heat waves may cause stress in animals and lead to increased vulnerability to disease, reduced fertility rates and reduced milk production. Droughts may threaten pasture and feed supplies by reducing the quality and amount of forage available to grazing livestock, while climate change may increase the prevalence of parasites and diseases that affect farm animals. Adverse weather conditions may also have a material impact on the aquaculture business. Changes in water temperatures could affect the timing of reproduction and growth of various fish species, as well as trigger the outbreak of certain water borne diseases.
In addition, veterinary hospitals and practitioners depend on visits from, and access to, the animals under their care. Veterinarians’ patient volume and ability to operate could be adversely affected if they experience prolonged snow, ice or other severe weather conditions, particularly in regions not accustomed to sustained inclement weather.
Modification of foreign trade policy may harm our farm animal product customers.
Changes in laws, agreements and policies governing foreign trade in the territories and countries where our customers do business could negatively impact such customers’ businesses and adversely affect our results of operations. A number of our customers rely on duty reduction benefits provided by free trade agreements, such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement. However, trade partnerships and treaties can be modified by domestic and foreign governments, which could result in new or increased tariffs. Additionally, countries are becoming increasingly protectionist, both to protect local industries as well as to ensure domestic supply chain continuity for key products, such as medicine. Finally, as global security decreases, more countries will use sanctions and export controls as a method to deal with such insecurity, which could result in decreased markets for our products.
Our results of operations may be adversely affected by foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.
Our results are reported in U.S. dollars. As a result, we are exposed to foreign currency exchange risk as the functional currency financial statements of non-U.S. subsidiaries are translated to U.S. dollars for reporting purposes. To the extent that revenue and expense transactions are not denominated in the functional currency, we are also subject to the risk of transaction losses. Given the volatility of exchange rates and despite the mitigating impact of foreign currency forward or option derivative contracts we enter into in order to reduce the effect of fluctuating currency exchange rates in future periods, there is no guarantee that we will be able to effectively manage currency transaction and/or translation risks, which could adversely affect our results of operations.
Customer exposure to rising costs and reduced customer income, as well as a lack of availability or significant increases in the cost of raw materials used in manufacturing our products, could have a material adverse effect on our profit margins and operating results.
Feed, fuel, transportation and other key costs for farm animal producers may continue to increase or animal protein prices or sales may decrease. Either of these trends could cause deterioration in the financial condition of our farm animal product customers, potentially inhibiting their ability to purchase our products or pay us for products delivered. Our farm animal product customers may offset rising costs by reducing spending on our products, including by switching to lower-cost alternatives. In addition, concerns about the financial resources of pet owners could cause veterinarians to alter their treatment recommendations in favor of lower-cost alternatives to our products, which could result in a decrease in sales of our pet health products, especially in developed countries where there are higher rates of pet ownership. Rising costs or reduced income for our customers could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We rely on third parties to source many of our raw materials and to manufacture products that we distribute. For more information, see "Item 1. Business — Manufacturing and Supply Chain." We have and may continue to experience cost increases in certain raw materials or other components required to manufacture our products due to increased shipping costs and other inflationary pressures. This may have a material adverse impact on our financial results if we cannot pass on such increases to our customers. Further, the unavailability or delivery delays of raw materials has affected and could continue to affect our ability to ship the related products timely, more severely impacting high-volume or high-margin products.
For our pet health products, increased use of alternative distribution channels, or changes within existing distribution channels, could negatively impact our market share, margins and distribution of our products.
In most markets, pet owners typically purchase their animal health products directly from veterinarians. However, pet owners increasingly have the option to purchase animal health products from sources other than veterinarians, such as online retailers, “big-box” retail stores or other over-the-counter distribution channels. This trend has been demonstrated by the significant shift away from the veterinarian distribution channel in the sale of flea and tick products in recent years. Pet owners also could decrease their reliance on, and visits to, veterinarians as they rely more on internet-based animal health information. Because we market our pet health prescription products primarily through the veterinarian distribution channel, any significant decrease in visits to veterinarians by pet owners could reduce our market share for such products and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, pet owners may substitute human health products for animal health products if human health products are deemed to be lower-cost alternatives.
Legislation has also been proposed in the U.S., and may be proposed in the U.S. or abroad in the future, which could impact the distribution channels for our pet health products. For example, such legislation may require veterinarians to provide pet owners with written prescriptions and disclosure that the pet owner may fill prescriptions through a third party, which may further reduce the number of pet owners who purchase their animal health products directly from veterinarians. Such requirements may lead to increased use of generic alternatives to our products or the increased substitution of our pet health products with other animal health products or human health products if such other products are deemed to be lower-cost alternatives. Many states already have regulations requiring veterinarians to provide prescriptions to pet owners upon request and the American Veterinary Medical Association has long-standing policies in place to encourage this practice.
Over time, these and other competitive conditions may further increase our use of online retailers, “big-box” retail stores or other over-the-counter distribution channels to sell our pet health products. We may not be adequately prepared or able to distribute our pet health products if an increased portion of our sales occur through these channels. Also, we may realize lower margins on sales through these distribution channels than we do on sales through veterinarians. Any of these events could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, if one or more of our pet health distributors discontinues or modifies their relationship with us, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected. For example, in 2020, we completed the previously communicated channel inventory reduction, moving to inventory levels across the world and across species that represent the minimum necessary to allow our distributors to maintain strong service levels with their end customers.
Increased or decreased inventory levels in our distribution channels can lead to fluctuations in our revenues and variations in payment terms extended to our distributors can impact our cash flows.
In addition to selling our products directly to veterinarians, we sell to distributors and retailers who, in turn, sell our products to third parties. Inventory levels at our distributors and retailers increase or decrease as a result of various factors, including end customer demand, new customer contracts, heightened competition, required minimum inventory levels, our ability to renew distribution contracts with expected terms, our ability to implement commercial strategies, regulatory restrictions, unexpected customer behavior, proactive measures taken by us in response to shifting market dynamics, and procedures and environmental factors beyond our control, including weather conditions or an outbreak of infectious disease such as COVID-19 or diseases carried by farm animals such as African Swine Fever. These increases and decreases can and have led to variations in our quarterly and annual revenues. In addition, like all companies that manufacture and sell products, we have policies that govern the payment terms that we extend to our customers. Due to consolidation amongst our distributors, as well as changes in the buying habits of end customers or the need for certain inventory levels at our distributors to avoid supply disruptions, from time to time, our distributors have requested exceptions to the payment term policies that we extend to them. Extensions of customer payment terms can impact our cash flows, liquidity and results of operations.
We may be required to write down goodwill or identifiable intangible assets.
Under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (U.S. GAAP), if we determine goodwill or identifiable intangible assets are impaired, we will be required to write down these assets and record a non-cash impairment charge. As of December 31, 2022, we had recorded on our balance sheet goodwill of $6.0 billion and identifiable intangible assets of $4.8 billion. Identifiable intangible assets consist primarily of marketed products acquired or licensed from third parties, licensed platform technologies that have alternative future uses in R&D, manufacturing technologies, customer relationships from business combinations and software. We also have indefinite-lived intangible assets, which primarily consist of acquired in-process R&D projects from business combinations that are subject to impairment and non-cash impairment charges.
Determining whether an impairment exists and the amount of the potential impairment involves quantitative data and qualitative criteria that are based on estimates and assumptions requiring significant management judgment. Future events or new information may change management’s valuation of an intangible asset in a short amount of time. The timing and amount of impairment charges recorded in the consolidated statements of operations and write-downs recorded on our consolidated balance sheets could vary if our management’s conclusions change. Any impairment of goodwill or identifiable intangible assets could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our R&D relies on evaluations of animals, which may become subject to bans, additional restrictive regulations or increased attention from activism movements.
As an animal health medicines and vaccines business, we are required to evaluate the effect of our existing and new products in animals in order to register such products. Animal testing in certain industries has been the subject of controversy and adverse publicity. Some organizations and individuals have attempted to ban animal testing or encourage the adoption of new regulations applicable to animal testing. To the extent that the activities of such organizations and individuals are successful, our R&D, and by extension our business, financial condition and results of operations, could be materially adversely affected. In addition, negative publicity about us or our industry could harm our reputation. For example, farm animal producers may experience decreased demand for their products or reputational harm as a result of evolving consumer views of animal rights, nutrition, health-related or other concerns. Any reputational harm to the farm animal industry may also extend to companies in related industries, including our company. Adverse consumer views related to the use of one or more of our products in farm animals also may result in a decrease in the use of such products and could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.
Manufacturing problems and capacity imbalances may cause product launch delays, inventory shortages, recalls or unanticipated costs.
In order to sell our products, we must be able to produce and ship sufficient quantities to our customers. We own and operate 18 internal manufacturing sites located in 11 countries. We also employ a network of approximately 150 third-party CMOs. Many of our products involve complex manufacturing processes and are sole sourced from certain manufacturing sites.
Minor deviations in our manufacturing or logistical processes, such as temperature excursions or improper package sealing, could result, and have in the past resulted in, delays, inventory shortages, unanticipated costs, product recalls, product liability and/or regulatory action. In addition, a number of factors could cause production interruptions, including:
•the failure of us or any of our vendors or suppliers, including logistical service providers, to comply with applicable regulations and quality assurance guidelines;
•shortages of materials;
•criminal and terrorist activities;
•changes in manufacturing production sites and limits to manufacturing capacity due to regulatory requirements, changes in types of products produced, shipping distributions or physical limitations; and
•the outbreak of any highly contagious diseases.
These interruptions could result in launch delays, inventory shortages, recalls, unanticipated costs or issues with our agreements under which we supply third parties, which may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our manufacturing network may be unable to meet the demand for our products or we may have excess capacity if demand for our products changes. The unpredictability of a product’s regulatory or commercial success or failure, the lead time necessary to construct highly technical and complex manufacturing sites and shifting customer demand (including as a result of market conditions or entry of branded or generic competition) increase the potential for capacity imbalances. In addition, construction of sites is expensive, and our ability to recover costs will depend on the market acceptance and success of the products produced at the new sites, which is uncertain.
We have invested and will continue to invest in improvements to our existing manufacturing facilities and in new manufacturing plants. These types of projects are subject to risks of delay or cost overruns inherent in any large construction project and require licensing by or approvals from various regulatory authorities. Significant cost overruns or delays in completing these projects could have an adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
We may incur substantial costs and receive adverse outcomes in litigation, regulatory investigations, and other legal matters.
Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely affected by unfavorable results in pending or future litigation, regulatory investigations, and other legal matters. These matters may include, among other things, allegations of violation of U.S. and foreign competition law, labor laws, securities laws and regulations, consumer protection laws and environmental laws and regulations, as well as claims or litigation relating to product liability, intellectual property, securities, breach of contract and tort. For example, shareholder class action lawsuits that were filed against us in 2020 allege, in part, that we and certain of our executives made materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose certain facts about our supply chain, inventory, revenue, projections and our relationships with third party distributors and revenue attributable to those distributors. We intend to vigorously defend the claims made in these lawsuits; however, the ultimate resolution cannot be predicted, and the claims raised in these lawsuits may result in further legal matters or actions against us, including, but not limited to, government enforcement actions or additional private litigation.
Also, on July 1, 2021, we received a subpoena from the SEC relating to our channel inventory and sales practices prior to mid-2020. We have been responding to requests for documents and information from the SEC and will continue to do so. We believe that our actions were appropriate. However, we cannot predict the outcome of any particular proceeding, or whether the SEC investigation will be resolved favorably or ultimately result in charges or material damages, fines or other penalties, enforcement actions, or civil or criminal proceedings against us or members of our senior management.
Litigation matters and regulatory investigations, regardless of their merits or their ultimate outcomes, are costly, divert management’s attention and may materially adversely affect our reputation and demand for our products. We cannot predict with certainty the eventual outcome of pending or future legal matters. An adverse outcome of litigation or legal matters could result in us being responsible for significant damages. Any of these negative effects resulting from litigation, regulatory investigations and other legal matters could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, changes in the interpretations of laws and regulations to which we are subject, or in legal standards in one or more of the jurisdictions in which we operate, could increase our exposure to liability. For example, in the U.S., attempts have been made to allow damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering in connection with the loss of, or injury to, a pet. If such attempts were successful, our exposure with respect to product liability claims could increase materially.
Our insurance policies may be insufficient to protect against all potential hazards or litigation claims.
We rely on a combination of insurance and self-insurance, and changes in predictions, assumptions, and interpretations could affect our operations. Insurance policies include limits and may be insufficient to protect against all potential hazards and risks or litigation claims. Our product liability insurance policy may not fully cover our potential liabilities. In addition, we may determine that we should increase our coverage, and this insurance may be prohibitively expensive to us or our collaborators or licensees and may not fully cover our potential liabilities.
We may incur additional tax expense or become subject to additional tax exposure.
We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. and numerous other jurisdictions. Our future results of operations could be adversely affected by changes in the effective tax rate as a result of a change in the mix of earnings between U.S. and non-U.S. jurisdictions or among jurisdictions with differing statutory tax rates, changes in our overall profitability, changes in tax laws or treaties or in their application or interpretation, changes in tax rates, changes in generally accepted accounting principles, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, the results of audits and examinations of previously filed tax returns and continuing assessments of our tax exposures. We are also subject to the examination of our tax returns and other tax matters by the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities and governmental bodies. We regularly assess the likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for taxes. There can be no assurance as to the outcome of these examinations. If our effective tax rates were to increase, particularly in the U.S. or other material foreign jurisdictions, or if the ultimate determination of our taxes owed is for an amount in excess of amounts previously accrued, our operating results, cash flows and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We are subject to complex environmental, health and safety laws and regulations.
We are subject to various federal, state, local and foreign environmental, health and safety laws and regulations. These laws and regulations govern matters such as the emission and discharge of hazardous materials into the ground, air or water; the generation, use, storage, handling, treatment, packaging, transportation, exposure to and disposal of hazardous and biological materials, including recordkeeping, reporting and registration requirements; and the health and safety of our employees. Due to our operations, these laws and regulations also require us to obtain, and comply with, permits, registrations or other authorizations issued by governmental authorities. These authorities can modify or revoke our permits, registrations or other authorizations and can enforce compliance through fines and injunctions.
Given the nature of our business, we have incurred, are currently incurring and may in the future incur liabilities for the investigation and remediation of contaminated land under the U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, or under other federal, state, local and foreign environmental cleanup laws, with respect to our current or former sites, adjacent or nearby third-party sites, or offsite disposal locations. We could be subject to liability for the investigation and remediation of legacy environmental contamination caused by historical industrial activity at sites that we own or on which we operate. The costs associated with future cleanup activities that we may be required to conduct or finance could be material. Additionally, we may become liable to third parties for damages, including for personal injury, property damage and natural resource damages, resulting from the disposal or release of hazardous materials into the environment. Such liability could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Furthermore, regulatory agencies are showing increasing concern over the impact of animal health products and farm animal operations on the environment. This increased regulatory scrutiny has in the past and may in the future necessitate that additional time and resources be spent to address these concerns in both new and existing products.
Our failure to comply with the environmental, health and safety laws and regulations to which we are subject, including any permits issued thereunder, may result in environmental remediation costs, loss of permits, fines, penalties or other adverse governmental or private actions, including regulatory or judicial orders enjoining or curtailing operations or requiring corrective measures, installation of pollution control equipment or remedial measures. We could also be held liable for any and all consequences arising out of human exposure to hazardous materials, environmental damage or significant environmental, health and safety issues that might arise at a manufacturing or R&D facility. Environmental laws and regulations are complex, change frequently, have tended to become more stringent and stringently enforced over time and may be subject to new interpretation. It is possible that our costs of complying with current and future environmental, health and safety laws, and our liabilities arising from past or future releases of, or exposure to, hazardous materials could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Significant portions of our operations are conducted in foreign jurisdictions, including jurisdictions presenting a high risk of bribery and corruption, and are subject to the economic, political, legal and business environments of the countries in which we do business.
Our international operations could be limited or disrupted by any of the following:
•volatility in the international financial markets;
•changes in the value of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar or high inflation;
•compliance with governmental controls;
•difficulties enforcing contractual and intellectual property rights;
•parallel trade in our products (importation of our products from EU countries where our products are sold at lower prices into EU countries where the products are sold at higher prices);
•compliance with a wide variety of laws and regulations, such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the FCPA) and similar non-U.S. laws and regulations;
•compliance with foreign labor laws;
•compliance with local, regional and global restrictions on banking and commercial activities in emerging markets;
•burdens to comply with multiple and potentially conflicting foreign laws and regulations, including those relating to environmental, health and safety requirements and those in emerging markets;
•changes in laws, regulations, government controls or enforcement practices with respect to our business and the businesses of our customers, including the imposition of limits on our profitability;
•political and social instability, including crime, civil disturbance, terrorist activities and armed conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the related government and other entity responses;
•trade restrictions and restrictions on direct investments by foreign entities, including restrictions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the EU, in relation to our products or the products of farmers and other customers;
•government limitations on foreign ownership;
•government takeover or nationalization of business;
•changes in tax laws and tariffs;
•imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties or other trade-related sanctions;
•costs and difficulties and compliance risks in staffing, managing and monitoring international operations, including in the use of overseas third-party goods and service providers;
•corruption risk inherent in business arrangements and regulatory contacts with foreign government entities;
•longer payment cycles and increased exposure to counterparty risk;
•continued uncertainty, potential instability and volatility due to the withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU; and
•additional limitations on transferring personal information between countries or other restrictions on the processing of personal information.
In addition, international transactions may involve increased financial and legal risks due to differing legal systems and customs, as well as restrictions and sanctions that may be imposed on one or more jurisdictions, including those arising from the recent crisis in Ukraine. Compliance with these requirements may prohibit the import or export of certain products and technologies or may require us to obtain a license before importing or exporting certain products or technologies. A failure to comply with any of these laws, regulations or requirements could result in civil or criminal legal proceedings, monetary or non-monetary penalties, or both, disruptions to our business, limitations on our ability to import and export products, and damage to our reputation. In addition, variations in the pricing of our products between jurisdictions may result in the unauthorized importation or unauthorized re-importation of our products between jurisdictions and may also result in the imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties or other trade-related sanctions. While the impact of these factors is difficult to predict, any of them could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Further, changes in any of these laws, regulations or requirements, or the political environment in a particular country, may affect our ability to engage in business transactions in certain markets, including investment, procurement and repatriation of earnings.
We depend on sophisticated information technology and infrastructure.
We are continuing to enhance a number of our business processes, including our financial reporting and supply chain processes and with respect to where and from whom we obtain information technology systems. We have made and will continue to make significant configuration, process and data changes within many of the information technology systems we use. If our information technology systems and processes are not sufficient to support our business and financial reporting functions, or if we fail to properly implement our new business processes, our financial reporting may be delayed or inaccurate and, as a result, our business, financial condition and results of operations may be materially adversely affected. Even if we are able to successfully configure and change our systems, all technology systems, even with implementation of security measures, are vulnerable to disability, failures or unauthorized access. If our information technology systems or our service providers' information technology systems were to fail or be breached, this could materially adversely affect our reputation and our ability to perform critical business functions, and sensitive and confidential data could be compromised.
Breaches of our information technology systems or improper disclosure of confidential company or personal data, or a failure to comply with privacy laws, regulations and our contractual obligations concerning data privacy or the security of certain information could have a material adverse effect on our reputation and operations.
We rely on information technology systems to process, transmit and store electronic information in our day-to-day operations, including customer, employee and company data. The secure processing, maintenance and transmission of this information is critical to our operations. In addition, the legal environment surrounding information security, storage, use, processing, transmission, maintenance, disclosure and privacy is demanding with the frequent imposition of new and changing regulatory requirements.
We store, process, and transmit certain information with third parties, including the use of cloud technologies. Our information systems and those of our third-party vendors are subjected to computer viruses or other malicious codes, unauthorized access attempts, phishing and other cyber-attacks and are also vulnerable to an increasing threat of continually evolving cybersecurity risks and external hazards, as well as improper or inadvertent staff behavior. Any potential cyber breach could result in the unauthorized access, public disclosure, loss or theft of confidential data, or unauthorized access to, disruption of, or interference with our operations that rely on information systems. Such breach can also have negative consequences, such as increased costs for security measures or remediation costs, and diversion of management attention.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are increasingly dependent on our information technology systems as our office workers, who are primarily working remotely, rely on third-party applications to perform their job duties and are processing information through our network via their home networks, which may be less secure. As such, our ability to effectively manage our business depends on the security, reliability and adequacy of our technology systems and data and the ability of our employees to follow our cyber security policies and protocols.
Any actual or perceived access, disclosure or other loss of information or any significant breakdown, intrusion, interruption, cyber-attack or corruption of customer, employee or company data or our failure to comply with federal, state, local and foreign privacy laws or contractual obligations with customers, vendors, payment processors and other third parties, could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability under laws or contracts that protect the privacy of personal information, regulatory penalties, disruption of our operations, and damage to our reputation, all of which could materially adversely affect our business, revenue and competitive position. While we will continue to implement additional protective measures to reduce the risk of and detect cyber-incidents, cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated and frequent, and the techniques used in such attacks change rapidly. Our protective measures may not protect us against attacks and such attacks could have a significant impact on our business and reputation.
Our business could be materially adversely affected by labor disputes, strikes or work stoppages.
Some of our employees are members of unions, works councils, trade associations or are otherwise subject to collective bargaining agreements in certain jurisdictions, including the U.S. As a result, we are subject to the risk of labor disputes, strikes, work stoppages and other labor-relations matters. We may be unable to negotiate new collective bargaining agreements on similar or more favorable terms and may experience work stoppages, higher ongoing labor costs or other labor problems in the future at our sites. We may also experience difficulty or delays in implementing changes to our workforce in certain markets.
Further, labor-related issues, including at our suppliers or CMOs, could cause a disruption of our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations, potentially resulting in cancelled orders by customers, unanticipated inventory accumulation or shortages and reduced revenue and net income.
A loss of key personnel or highly skilled employees could disrupt our operations.
Our future success depends partly on the continued service of our highly qualified and well-trained key research, engineering, sales, marketing, manufacturing, executive and administrative personnel. We face intense competition for these qualified personnel from our competitors and others, particularly for certain highly technical specialties in geographic areas where we continue to recruit. Due to this intense competition, we may be unable to continue to attract and retain qualified personnel necessary for the development of our business or to recruit or identify suitable replacement personnel. If we are unsuccessful in our recruitment and retention efforts, our business may be harmed. In addition, if we fail to effectively manage organizational and/or strategic changes, our financial condition, results of operations and reputation, as well as our ability to successfully attract, motivate and retain key employees, could be harmed.
We have underfunded pension plan liabilities. We will require current and future operating cash flow to fund these shortfalls, reducing the cash available for other uses.
We have certain defined benefit pension plans, predominantly in Germany and Switzerland, in which our employees participate that are either dedicated to our employees or where the plan assets and liabilities that relate to our employees were legally required to transfer to us at the time of our separation from Lilly. The funded status and net periodic pension cost for these plans is materially affected by the discount rate used to measure pension obligations, the longevity and actuarial profile of our workforce, the level of plan assets available to fund those obligations and the actual and expected long-term rate of return on plan assets. Significant changes in investment performance or a change in the portfolio mix of invested assets can result in corresponding increases and decreases in the valuation of plan assets or in a change in the expected rate of return on plan assets. As of December 31, 2022, for pension plans with projected benefit obligations in excess of plan assets, the projected benefit obligation was $301 million with plan assets of $150 million. Any changes in the discount rate could result in a significant increase or decrease in the valuation of pension obligations, affecting the reported funded status of our pension plans as well as the net periodic pension cost in the following years. Similarly, changes in the expected return on plan assets can result in significant changes in the net periodic pension cost in the following years. The need to make additional cash contributions will divert resources from our operations and may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Acquisitions and Divestitures
We may not be able to successfully complete favorable transactions or successfully integrate acquired businesses when we pursue acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures or other significant transactions.
From time to time, we evaluate potential acquisitions, divestitures or joint ventures that would further our strategic objectives. The completion of such transactions is often subject to conditions that may be outside our control, including obtaining the requisite approval of the shareholders of the target company and/or government approval pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. Accordingly, we may not be able to complete announced and signed transactions, and therefore, may not realize the anticipated benefits therefrom.
After the closing of an acquisition we are required to devote significant management attention and resources to integrating the portfolio and operations of the target company. Potential difficulties that we may encounter in the integration process, including as a result of distraction of our management, include the following:
•the inability to realize the anticipated value from various assets of the target company;
•the inability to combine the businesses of the acquired company with ours in a manner that permits us to achieve the cost savings or other synergies anticipated as a result of the transaction or to achieve such cost savings or other anticipated synergies in a timely manner, which could result in us not realizing some anticipated benefits of the transaction in the time frame anticipated, or at all;
•the loss of key employees;
•potential unknown liabilities and unforeseen increased expenses, delays or unfavorable conditions in connection with the closing of the transaction and the subsequent integration; and
•performance shortfalls at our or the target company as a result of the diversion of management’s attention from ongoing business activities as a result of completing the transaction and integrating the companies’ operations.
Additionally, as a result of our acquisition of Bayer Animal Health, we are operating under two separate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to support business operations such as invoicing, manufacturing, shipping, inventory control, procurement, supply chain management and financial reporting. We have started the process of integrating these two ERP systems into one primary platform and expect to complete the implementation process during 2023. ERP integrations have inherent risks, which can complicate our business operations and potentially lead to breakdowns in data integrity. The integration activities have also required, and will continue to require, significant resources to deploy. If we are unable to successfully integrate our systems to support critical business operations and to produce information for business decision-making activities, we could experience a material adverse impact on our business or an inability to timely and accurately report our financial results.
Future acquisitions could also result in potentially dilutive issuances of equity securities, the incurrence of debt, contingent liabilities or amortization expenses related to intangible assets, and increased operating expenses, which could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, if we issue equity or debt securities to raise additional funds, our existing shareholders may experience significant dilution, and the new equity or debt securities may have rights, preferences and privileges senior to those of our existing shareholders. Furthermore, if we sell a substantial number of shares of common stock in the public markets, the availability of those shares for sale could adversely affect the market price of our common stock. Such sales, or the perception in the market that holders of a large number of shares intend to sell shares, could depress the market price of our common stock and impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities.
Risks Related to our Indebtedness
We have substantial indebtedness.
We have a significant amount of indebtedness, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. See "Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 10: Debt" to the consolidated financial statements for further discussion.
Our high level of debt could have important consequences, including:
•making it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our debt and any failure to comply with the obligations of any of our debt instruments, including restrictive covenants and borrowing conditions, could result in an event of default under the agreements governing other indebtedness;
•requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to the payment of interest and the repayment of our indebtedness, thereby reducing funds available to us for other purposes;
•limiting our ability to obtain additional financing to fund future working capital, capital expenditures, business development or other general corporate requirements, including dividends;
•increasing our vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions;
•making us more highly leveraged than some of our competitors, which may place us at a competitive disadvantage;
•restricting us from making strategic acquisitions, engaging in development activities or exploiting business opportunities;
•causing us to make non-strategic divestitures;
•exposing us to the risk of increased interest rates as certain of our borrowings are and may in the future be at variable rates of interest;
•limiting our flexibility in planning for and reacting to changes in the animal health industry;
•impacting our effective tax rate; and
•increasing our cost of borrowing.
Despite our substantial indebtedness, we may still be able to incur significantly more debt, which could intensify the risks associated with our indebtedness.
We and our subsidiaries may be able to incur substantial indebtedness in the future. Although the terms of the credit agreement governing our credit facilities contain restrictions on our and our subsidiaries’ ability to incur additional indebtedness, these restrictions are subject to a number of important qualifications and exceptions, and the indebtedness incurred in compliance with these restrictions could be substantial. These restrictions do not prevent us from incurring other obligations that do not constitute indebtedness. In addition to our borrowings under our credit facilities, the covenants under the credit agreement governing our credit facilities are expected to, and the covenants under any other of our existing or future debt instruments could, allow us to incur a significant amount of additional indebtedness and, subject to certain limitations, such additional indebtedness could be secured. The more leveraged we become, the more we, and in turn our security holders, will be exposed to certain risks described above under the heading “We have substantial indebtedness.”
We may not be able to generate sufficient cash to service all of our indebtedness and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness, which may not be successful.
Our ability to make scheduled payments on or refinance our debt obligations depends on our financial condition and operating performance, which are subject to prevailing economic and competitive conditions and to certain financial, business, legislative, regulatory and other factors beyond our control. We may be unable to maintain a level of cash flows from operating activities sufficient to permit us to pay the principal and interest on our indebtedness.
If our cash flows and capital resources are insufficient to fund our debt service obligations, we could face substantial liquidity problems and could be forced to reduce or delay investments and capital expenditures, or to dispose of material assets or operations, alter our dividend policy, seek additional debt or equity capital or restructure or refinance our indebtedness. We may not be able to effect any such alternative measures on commercially reasonable terms or at all and, even if successful, those alternative actions may not allow us to meet our scheduled debt service obligations. The instruments that will govern our indebtedness may restrict our ability to dispose of assets and may restrict the use of proceeds from those dispositions and may also restrict our ability to raise debt or equity capital to be used to repay other indebtedness when it becomes due. We may not be able to consummate those dispositions or to obtain proceeds in an amount sufficient to meet any debt service obligations when due.
In addition, we conduct our operations through our subsidiaries. Accordingly, repayment of our indebtedness will depend on the generation of cash flow by our subsidiaries, including certain international subsidiaries, and their ability to make such cash available to us, by dividend, debt repayment or otherwise. Our subsidiaries may not have any obligation to pay amounts due on our indebtedness or to make funds available for that purpose. Our subsidiaries may not be able to, or may not be permitted to, make adequate distributions to enable us to make payments in respect of our indebtedness. Each subsidiary is a distinct legal entity and, under certain circumstances, legal, tax and contractual restrictions may limit our ability to obtain cash from our subsidiaries. In the event that we do not receive distributions from our subsidiaries, we may be unable to make required principal and interest payments on our indebtedness.
Our inability to generate sufficient cash flows to satisfy our debt obligations, or to refinance our indebtedness on commercially reasonable terms or at all, may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to satisfy our obligations under our indebtedness or pay dividends on our common stock.
Our debt agreements contain restrictions that will limit our flexibility in operating our business.
Our credit facilities contain, and any other existing or future indebtedness of ours would likely contain, a number of covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us, including restrictions on our and our subsidiaries’ ability to, among other things:
•incur additional debt, guarantee indebtedness or issue certain preferred shares;
•pay dividends on or make distributions in respect of, or repurchase or redeem, our capital stock or make other restricted payments;
•prepay, redeem or repurchase certain debt;
•make loans or certain investments;
•sell certain assets;
•create liens on certain assets;
•consolidate, merge, sell or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of our assets;
•enter into certain transactions with our affiliates;
•substantially alter the businesses we conduct;
•enter into agreements restricting our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends; and
•designate our subsidiaries as unrestricted subsidiaries.
In addition, certain of our credit facilities require us to comply with a net total leverage ratio and a minimum fixed charge coverage ratio under certain circumstances.
As a result of these covenants, we are limited in the manner in which we conduct our business, and we may be unable to engage in favorable business activities or finance future operations or capital needs.
A failure to comply with the covenants under the indenture that governs the senior unsecured notes and credit facilities, or any of our other existing or future indebtedness could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. In the event of an event of default under our credit facilities, it is expected that the lenders:
•will not be required to lend any additional amounts to us;
•could elect to declare all borrowings outstanding, together with accrued and unpaid interest and fees, to be due and payable and terminate all commitments to extend further credit;
•could require us to apply all of our available cash to repay these borrowings; or
•could effectively prevent us from making debt service payments on the notes (due to a cash sweep feature).
Such actions by the lenders could cause cross defaults under our other indebtedness, including our senior unsecured notes. If we were unable to repay those amounts, the lenders under our credit facilities and any of our other existing or future secured indebtedness could proceed against the collateral granted to them to secure our credit facilities or such other indebtedness. We have pledged a significant portion of our assets as collateral under our credit facilities.
Changes in our credit rating could increase our interest expense and restrict our access to, and negatively impact the terms of, current or future financings or trade credit.
Credit rating agencies continually revise their ratings for the companies that they follow, including us. Credit rating agencies also evaluate our industry as a whole and may change their credit ratings for us based on their overall view of our industry. We cannot be sure that credit rating agencies will maintain their ratings on us and certain of our debt. As a result of the acquisition of Bayer Animal Health, our credit ratings were downgraded, resulting in increased borrowing costs. Because the ratings of certain of our senior unsecured notes have been downgraded, we are required to pay additional interest under the senior unsecured notes. Any further downgrades could result in requirements to pay additional interest under the senior unsecured notes. Moreover, any decision to downgrade our ratings could restrict our access to, and negatively impact the terms of, current or future financings and trade credit extended by our suppliers of raw materials or other vendors.
Changes in interest rates may adversely affect our earnings and/or cash flows.
Certain of our credit facilities bear interest at variable interest rates that use the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a benchmark rate. On July 27, 2017, the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates LIBOR, announced its intention to stop persuading or compelling banks to submit LIBOR quotations after 2021.
In March 2021, ICE Benchmark Administration, the administrator of LIBOR, with the support of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the FCA, formally announced that LIBOR will cease to be published on June 30, 2023. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee in the U.S. has proposed that the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) is the preferred alternative to U.S. LIBOR for use in derivatives and other financial contracts that are currently indexed to LIBOR; however, there are presently many variations of SOFR, and it is unknown whether these or any other alternative reference rate will attain market acceptance.
SOFR measures the cost of borrowing cash overnight, collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities, and is based on directly observable U.S. Treasury-backed repurchase transactions. Even though our credit facilities have either already transitioned to SOFR or provide for successor base rates, the discontinuance of LIBOR and the introduction of alternative reference rates, such as SOFR, could cause the interest rates calculated on our floating-rate debt and interest rate swaps to be materially different than expected.
Risks Related to Elanco Common Stock
We do not anticipate paying dividends on our common stock in the foreseeable future.
We do not anticipate paying any dividends in the foreseeable future on our common stock. We intend to retain all future earnings for the operation and expansion of our business and the repayment of outstanding debt. Certain of our credit facilities contain restrictive covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us, including restrictions on our ability to pay dividends and make other restricted payments. As a result, capital appreciation, if any, of our common stock may be our shareholders' major source of gain for the foreseeable future. While we may change this policy at some point in the future, we cannot assure you that we will make such a change.
The distributions we pay on our common stock may not qualify as dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which could adversely affect the U.S. federal income tax consequences of owning our common stock.
Generally, any distributions that we make to a shareholder with respect to its shares of our common stock will constitute a dividend for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent of our current or accumulated earnings and profits as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Furthermore, our ability to generate earnings and profits, as determined for U.S. federal income tax purposes, in any future year is subject to a number of variables that are uncertain and difficult to predict.
Generally, any distribution not constituting a dividend under the rules described above will be treated as first reducing the investor's adjusted basis in shares of our common stock and, to the extent that the distribution exceeds the adjusted basis in shares of our common stock, as gain from the sale or exchange of such shares, and if the investor is a domestic corporation, it will not be entitled to claim, with respect to such non-dividend distribution, a “dividends-received” deduction, which generally applies to dividends received from other domestic corporations.
Applicable laws and regulations, provisions of our amended and restated articles of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws may discourage takeover attempts and business combinations that shareholders might consider in their best interests.
Applicable laws, provisions of our amended and restated articles of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws may delay, deter, prevent or render more difficult a takeover attempt that our shareholders might consider in their best interests. For example, they may prevent our shareholders from receiving the benefit from any premium to the market price of our common stock offered by a bidder in a takeover context. Even in the absence of a takeover attempt, the existence of these provisions may adversely affect the prevailing market price of our common stock if they are viewed as discouraging takeover attempts in the future.
Our amended and restated articles of incorporation and our amended and restated bylaws contain provisions that are intended to encourage prospective acquirers to negotiate with our board of directors rather than to attempt a hostile takeover, which could deter coercive takeover practices and inadequate takeover bids. These provisions provide for:
•a board of directors divided into three classes with staggered terms;
•advance notice requirements regarding how our shareholders may present proposals or nominate directors for election at shareholder meetings;
•the right of our board of directors to issue one or more series of preferred stock with such powers, rights and preferences as the board of directors shall determine;
•only the board of directors to fill newly created directorships or vacancies on our board of directors;
•limitations on the ability of shareholders to call special meetings of shareholders and require that all shareholder action be taken at a meeting rather than by written consent; and
•the exclusive right of our board of directors to amend our amended and restated bylaws.
These limitations may adversely affect the prevailing market price and market for our common stock if they are viewed as limiting the liquidity of our stock or discouraging takeover attempts in the future.
We recently adopted a “proxy access” bylaw, which permits an eligible shareholder or group of shareholders to nominate, and have included in our proxy materials, director nominees constituting up to two individuals or 20% of our board of directors (whichever is greater), subject to the requirements and procedures in our bylaws.
If we fail to maintain an effective system of disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting, our ability to produce timely and accurate financial statements or comply with applicable laws and regulations could be adversely impacted.
A material weakness is a deficiency or combination of deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our consolidated financial statements would not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. If we experience a material weakness or otherwise fail to maintain an effective system of internal controls in the future, we may not be able to accurately or timely report our financial condition or results of operations. Any failure to maintain effective disclosure controls and internal control over financial reporting could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.
In connection with preparing the financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2022, a cumulative error was identified relating to the valuation allowance for taxes for a Southeast Asia affiliate. While immaterial to prior years, correcting this cumulative error in 2022 would have caused the 2022 results to be materially misstated. Therefore, immaterial revisions were made to the consolidated financial statements as of and for the years ended December 31, 2021 and 2020. We determined that this error was the result of a control deficiency that constituted a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting related to income taxes. The material weakness had not been remediated as of December 31, 2022.
Although we intend to take remedial actions in response to this control deficiency, there is no assurance that we will be able to prevent a material error or future control deficiencies (including material weaknesses) from occurring. Our inability to assert that our internal control over financial reporting is effective could result in a loss of investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, which could cause the price of our common stock to decline, and we may be subject to investigation, litigation, increases in insurance premiums or regulatory fines and sanctions.