Zoetis Releases PEDv Vaccine to Veterinary Market

Zoetis joins Harrisvaccines in winning conditional USDA approval of vaccines against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.

A second vaccine formulated to fight porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), a disease that has killed millions of U.S. piglets, has been awarded a conditional license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The manufacturer, Zoetis Inc., reported today that the two-dose inactivated vaccine was licensed for use in healthy pregnant pigs and will be sold to veterinarians and pig farmers beginning this month.

The vaccine generates antibodies that female pigs transmit to their newborns, the Florham Park, N.J., drug maker stated.

First diagnosed in the United States in April 2013, PEDv has spread to 30 states and has killed more than 7 million piglets. Spread through feces, the disease causes severe diarrhea and vomiting, and it carries a mortality rate of up to 100 percent of infected young pigs.

“Rapidly emerging infectious diseases such as PEDv not only threaten animal health but also the livelihoods of farmers,” said Catherine Knupp, DVM, MS, executive vice president and president of Zoetis Research and Development.

Harrisvaccines’ PEDv vaccine beat Zoetis’ formulation by more than a year. A vaccine called iPED was introduced in August 2013 under a USDA emergency program, and Harrisvaccines’ renamed Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Vaccine, RNA, won a conditional license in June 2014.

Harrisvaccines welcomed the competition.

“PEDv is the most disruptive livestock disease to hit the United States in recent history,” said Joel Harris, the company’s director of sales and marketing. “Farmers, vaccine producers, regulators and all livestock industry stakeholders have come together in a positive way to combat this disease, and we applaud all of their efforts.”

The Ames, Iowa, company has sold about 2.5 million doses of PEDv vaccine in the United States and Canada in just over a year.

The two vaccines earned conditional licenses pending further studies that could lead to full licensure.

Zoetis reported that its vaccine “was shown to be safe in a field safety study, and a reasonable expectation of efficacy was demonstrated.”

The Zoetis vaccine is administered to pregnant pigs as a 2 mL intramuscular injection five weeks and two weeks before farrowing.

The vaccine is produced at a Zoetis plant in Lincoln, Neb., and comes in 50- and 250-dose vials. The drug’s duration of immunity is unknown.

PEDv was classified as a reportable disease in April 2014.

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