Invetus was launched on 1st December 2016, as a result of the merger of three veterinary research companies;

Maurice webster, managing director, Invetus

Maurice webster, managing director, Invetus

  • Vetx Research (Aus)

  • Veterinary Health Research (Aus / NZ)

  • Pharmfirst (NZ)

    Maurice Webster, who headed up Vetx Research, led the merger and became the Managing Director of the new entity.

    The vision for Invetus is to provide a complete range of veterinary research services. Having all these services and skills under the one roof is unique in the southern hemisphere and provides clients with a single point of contact for all their research needs, providing independent evidence with confidence and care.

On 1st October 2018, Invetus purchased the business and research operations of Estendart Limited in NZ, further cementing Invetus’ place as the premier animal research organisation in Australasia.


The Invetus Wongaburra Research Centre (WRC) was the base for Vetx Research. WRC was built in 2008 and expanded in 2013 following the merger of Wongaburra Research Centre in the Northern Rivers region of NSW and BioQuiv in Bowral. It is an accredited animal research establishment, licensed animal supplier and licensed animal hospital. Vetx Research was the first and only companion animal contract veterinary research organisation in Australasia to gain accreditation from AAALAC, which promotes care and welfare of laboratory animals. This accreditation passed to Invetus for the WRC and Invetus will seek accreditation for its additional facilities. The research centre houses state of the art animal accommodation and research facilities, for dogs and cats.

Wongaburra Research Centre Pty Ltd

  • Derived from Warne & Webster Serum, established 2002

  • Established by Dr Maurice Webster in 2008

  • Initially operated under contract with Veterinary Health Research - VHR (Armidale, NSW) as its companion animal division

  • Conducted tick efficacy studies, bioequivalence and target animal safety studies in dogs

BioQuiv Pty Ltd

  • Established by Dr. Bob Pigott in 2002

  • Conducted flea efficacy, bioequivalence, palatability, target animal safety in dogs and cats

Dr Maurice Webster talks about VetX

Dr Bob Pigott talks about the origins of BioQuiv


The VHR facility, located on a 2-hectare facility in the rural city of Armidale in northern New South Wales, has become the Invetus Armidale Research Centre. VHR was founded by Dr Bruce Chick in July 1990, with Dr Michael Chambers joining the business in 1999. The company provided consultancy services comprising of two divisions - veterinary research and development and a disease diagnostic laboratory. 

VHR brings to Invetus other services including an animal health monitoring and consultancy services for livestock producers, as well as an ability to provide education programs to pharmaceutical companies and rural supply stores.

Contract Research

VHR contributes a range of skills to Invetus, having considerable experience in designing, locating, managing and reporting efficacy, residue, safety and production studies. This has resulted in a reputation within the veterinary pharmaceutical industry as a reliable provider of high quality, independent contract research. Field studies are designed specifically to satisfy international, commonwealth and state registration requirements. With the purpose designed facilities, VHR allows Invetus to successfully conduct animal research in-house or throughout Australia in field studies located on co-operator properties.

Diagnostic Lab

In late 1996, Veterinary Health Research assumed responsibility for the operation of the former State Government owned Regional Veterinary Laboratory. Now known as the Colin Blumer Animal Health Laboratory, the facility is located in Armidale, NSW, and offers full 'ecto' and 'endo' parasitological, gross and histopathological and microbiological capabilities. This has become the Invetus Diagnostic Laboratory, and with the capacity, expertise and experience of the lab team, we guarantee results.

The VHR facility (now the Armidale Research Centre) was developed with a fully equipped post mortem room and facilities available for the containment of infectious diseases. We also provide an extensive range of services, all of which are interrelated and supported by several veterinarians, able to provide graziers with comprehensive advice on an “as needs” basis.

In 2010, VHR established a corporate presence in Europe with the objective to further consolidate the company as an internationally recognised site for the conduct of quality research and development in animal health, while maintaining a high level of quality assurance.

armidale research centre

armidale research centre

Dr Bruce Chick talk about the origins of VHR

Dr Michael Chambers discusses VHR


Estendart started life in 1986 as a research centre at Massey University, based in Palmerston North, with the only Veterinary School in NZ. At that time the University Council decreed that the research centre would be self-funding and its purpose was to be a bridge for animal health companies to access the expertise and research facilities at Massey University. In effect, the Council created a small CRO (Contract Research Organisation).

Over the next few years the animal health companies utilised this access extensively and the centre thrived. In 2003 the research centre was incorporated and renamed as Estendart Ltd. In 2010 Estendart became a privately owned company through an MBO, led by Dr Alan Alexander. It remains located on the Massey campus, close to the School of Veterinary Science, with unchanged access to expertise and research facilities in the university. In 2011, a research farm (Jennersmead), also owned by Massey University and located at Bunnythorpe, was sold to Estendart. Jennersmead was established by Glaxo Animal Health in the 1960s for their research purposes. It is a small purpose-built research farm that is integral to the operation of Estendart.

Estendart is an old French expression, meaning “a gathering place”, or “raising the standard [flag]” to mark such a place. The business will be known as the Estendart Research Centre, and we hope it continues to raise the standard in animal research.

In 2018 an Advisory Board was established to identify opportunities in the human health sector to apply Estendart’s expertise. The focus is on preclinical safety studies and other areas of medical/ biomedical research and pharmaceutical developments. Invetus fully intends to continue this Advisory Board, and extend it across the Tasman.

(L-R) Dr Michael Chambers (VHR), Dr Maurice Webster (VetX), Dr Bob Pigott (VetX), Dr Bruce Chick (VHR), Dr ALan Alexander (Estendart)

(L-R) Dr Michael Chambers (VHR), Dr Maurice Webster (VetX), Dr Bob Pigott (VetX), Dr Bruce Chick (VHR), Dr ALan Alexander (Estendart)


Pharmfirst was started by Dr Jeremy Lind in New Zealand in March, 2013, as a GLP-accredited animal research business.