Social Distancing Creates Pet-buying Boom that Sends the Industry to New Heights

NEW YORK, June 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As the world shut down and everyone isolated at home, social distancing became the new norm. While it was an important public health measure that saved lives, it also contributed to an increase in anxiety and depression. The burnout everyone was facing required a powerful coping mechanism, like a pet. Adoptions during the last year have surged, creating a rapidly growing market of pet owners. Many owners, while well-intentioned, probably didn't realize what kind of high costs they were facing to care for their four-legged friend. Vet bills and diagnostic testing costs can add up quickly. Fortunately, companies like LexaGene Holdings Inc. (TSXV:LXG) (OTCQB:LXXGF) (FRA:5XS2), Chewy Inc. (NASDAQ:CHWY), Zomedica Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:ZOM), Elanco Animal Health (NYSE:ELAN) and Petco Health and Wellness (NASDAQ:WOOF) have filled the gap with revolutionary new products and services to help improve pet care and bring costs down.

An Innovative Company In an Innovative Space

Molecular diagnostics company LexaGene Holdings Inc. (TSXV:LXG) (OTCQB:LXXGF) develops molecular diagnostic systems for pathogen detection and genetic testing for other molecular markers for on-site rapid testing in veterinary diagnostics, food safety and for use in open-access markets such as clinical research, agricultural testing and biodefense.

Although LexaGene Holdings has the ability to solve the pain points of numerous industries, the company is focusing initially on the veterinary market due to the growing demand within the space. Prior to the pet-buying boom, there were already 85 million families in the US with a pet and that number is only growing. The problem is, many of these new owners don't realize the costs associated with owning a dog or cat, especially when that pet gets sick. Dog owners spend up to $1,201 a year on average, while cat owners shell out up to $687 per year on average — with food and veterinary care ranking among the highest expenses for both. However, oftentimes the first vet visit isn't enough to find out what's wrong with a sick pet, causing the costs to climb even higher.

Luckily, LexaGene's MiQLab™, an automated, open-access molecular diagnostic system for pathogen detection, allows veterinarians to test for multiple pathogens onsite and get the results they need within two hours without going to a separate testing facility and waiting days for results to be returned.

"We are focusing on the veterinary market as we see it as a largely untapped market. There are 77M dogs and 58M cats in the United States, and many pet owners spare no expense on caring for their animal companions," said LexaGene Holdings Inc. founder and CEO Dr. Jack Regan. "The overall size of the veterinary diagnostics market is expected to soon reach $4B and is growing at a compound annual growth rate "CAGR" of 8.8%. Currently, there are 18,600 private practice veterinary clinics that see enough animals per day to be target customers for LexaGene."

To get the MiQLab system into as many clinics and hospitals as possible, LexaGene expanded its sales team with four new sales managers, three of which are experienced sales representatives from some of the biggest names in veterinary healthcare like Zoetis, Bayer Animal Health (Elanco) and Heska.

LexaGene Holdings has also continued to strengthen its balance sheet and is well-capitalized to continue expanding its research and development and sales strategies. The company has received $2.9 in warrant exercises since the start of the year, allowing it to continue testing and trials for its MiQLab system, and to expand its sales team as it gears up for commercialization.

The Pet Craze Tide Lifts All Boats

Chewy Inc. (NASDAQ:CHWY), a leading e-commerce retailer of pet food and supplies, has approximately 19.2 million customers. With roughly 85 million families in the United States that own pets, Chewy Inc. is setting its sights high, and will be able to bring its habitual buying strategy through "Autoship'' to the vastly larger post-2020 pet market. Now Chewy is expanding its proprietary telehealth service "Connect with a Vet", with a video consultation feature, pre-scheduling, and extended hours of operation.

Zomedica Pharmaceuticals (NYSEMKT:ZOM) is also focused on the unmet needs of clinical veterinarians, and creates products for companion animals (canine, feline, and equine). Zomedica has made the first official sale of its veterinary diagnostics tool TRUFORMA. The system will allow vets to raise the standard of point-of-care for all animals, saving and improving lives in the process.

Petco Health and Wellness (NASDAQ:WOOF), one of the leading pet health and wellness companies, has launched a new initiative called Petco Whole Health. After last year, pet owners are looking for the kind of care that can help their whole family, including their pets. The framework was created with the intention of improving pet well-being and strengthening the health of both pets and owners. The company is also preparing a secondary offering of 22,000,000 shares from the company's principal shareholder, Scooby Aggregator, LP.

Elanco Animal Health (NYSE:ELAN) keeps innovating along with the best of them, introducing a new innovative option for flea and tick control for veterinarians in the U.S. Credelio Cat is the first oral flea and tick product for cats that can begin killing fleas on cats within six hours of administration. Credelio Cat will help cat owners who may have indoor or outdoor cats with both preventing and eliminating fleas in cats as young as eight week or that weigh two or more pounds. The product joins a long list of solutions from Elanco in parasiticides, pain management , vaccines, internal medicine, oncology, and dermatology.

First Quarter Preparation Sets LexaGene Up for a Strong 2021

While the past year has been difficult in many ways, LexaGene has taken the steps necessary to help veterinary clinics and pet owners get back to normal. Their revolutionary MiQLab system could take the company into strong sales for 2021 and beyond, and improve pet diagnostics forever.

For more information about LexaGene Holdings Inc. (TSXV:LXG) (OTCQB:LXXGF) (FRA:5XS2), click here.

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