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Mars Petcare Acquires Genoscoper Laboratories

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Mars Petcare has acquired Finnish animal molecular diagnostics company Genoscoper Laboratories for an undisclosed amount.

The acquisition, which closed on Dec. 27, "will accelerate the pace of discoveries in genetics, to form the basis for future practical applications in enabling precision healthcare for pets," Mars said in a statement.

Mars Petcare's genetic testing unit, Wisdom Health — which recently changed its name from Mars Veterinary — started collaborating with Genoscoper in 2015 to discover new genetic health markers for companion animals. As a result, Mars launched Wisdom Panel Health last year, a canine genetic test that combines breed testing with inherited disease testing. The partners also jointly developed Optimal Selection Feline, a cat DNA test for breeders. Genoscoper, for its part, had been offering its own canine DNA test, called MyDogDNA.

"This is a critical time in the development of genetic testing for pets, which we believe is poised to expand dramatically as breeders, veterinarians, and pet owners increasingly understand its benefits, exactly as it is currently happening for humans," Leonid Sudakov, president of connected solutions at Mars Petcare, said in the statement.

"Our long-term vision has been to adopt the biggest advances in canine genetics research to improve animal welfare, and that exactly is where I see this partnership leading," added Genoscoper Chairman Hannes Lohi, who also leads the canine genetics research group at the University of Helsinki.

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