Mars Petcare Acquires OptiGen, LLC And Its Extensive Canine Eye Disease Biobank

Mars Petcare Acquisition of OptiGen, LLC Will Enable Discovery of New Genetic Health Markers for Dogs (PRNewsfoto/Mars Petcare).
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Mars Petcare a global business serving the health and nutrition needs of almost half the world’s pets. With over 75 years of experience, Mars Petcare has developed a portfolio of almost 50 brands, including the leading global pet nutrition products. Mars Petcare is also the world’s largest veterinary health provider through a network of over 2,000 pet hospitals.

OptiGen is a veterinary diagnostic DNA company specializing in inherited diseases of the dog, based in Ithaca NY. OptiGen’s founding members have collaborated for decades on projects in the fields of veterinary ophthalmology, molecular diagnostics, and canine genomics.

Mars Petcare has acquired OptiGen, LLC along with its extensive biobank of more than 150,000 samples collected over 20 years representing various canine eye diseases. Mars Petcare intends to use these samples to discover new genetic health markers for dogs.

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Wisdom health is a business unit of Mars Petcare. The unit has developed state-of-the-art genetic tests for companion animals, ushering in personalized pet health-care. Discoveries from the biobank will be incorporated into the company’s WISDOM PANEL™ genetic test kits to detect over 185 genetic disease mutations that are intended to help breeders select the best breeding matches for genetically healthy offspring.

  • The genetic panel kits are intended to help breeders avoid mating carriers of the same genetic disease.
  • Genetic testing can act as diagnostics for conditions experienced by mixed breed dogs, so that owners can know what to expect.
  • The initial products to incorporate these genetic tests for canine eye disorders will be OPTIMAL SELECTION™ and MY DOG DNA™ designed for breeding dogs.

“Through our pioneering Wisdom Health business, Mars Petcare is leading the discovery of new genetic markers for pet health. As our scientists seek to improve the understanding of the genetic basis of pet health and disease, this acquisition will contribute to the development of personalized veterinary care,” said Leonid Sudakov, President of Connected Solutions, the global ventures, consumer technology, and genetics division of Mars Petcare.