Midlands-based Dechra Pharmaceuticals has bought the licences and goodwill for the UK and Ireland for the Vetivex range of veterinary-licensed products used for fluid therapy.

The dog, cat and horsemedical specialist made the acquisition from Gambro Northern Ireland for £810,000.

The Vetivex critical care sterile-fluid range administered by intravenous infusion is used to address dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and metabolic acidosis in pets, horses and livestock.

The range of seven licensed products will continue to be manufactured by Ivex Pharmaceuticals in Northern Ireland on behalf of Dechra. In 2004, the Vetivex range achieved sales above the £1 million mark. Chief executive Ian Page said: "The market for fluid-replacement therapy has seen consistent growth over recent years. We believe that we can significantly improve the existing market penetration and profitability of the Vetivex range in this highly-specialised sector."

Current trading within the Dechra Group remains encouraging with continued good performance from both its pharmaceuticals and services divisions, it added.

The Stoke-on-Trent firm, which employs around 650 people in Staffordshire and Yorkshire, operates in the international veterinary health-care market. It said it sees the development of its veterinary pharmaceuticals portfolio as key to its strategy.