Interceptor Heartworm Drug Returns Under Elanco

Discontinued by Novartis, Interceptor should be available this spring under new owner Elanco.

Elanco Animal Health has revived a long-gone parasiticide with the reintroduction of the heartworm drug Interceptor Flavor Tabs.

The Greenfield, Ind., veterinary drug maker inherited Interceptor from Novartis Animal Health, which discontinued the monthly medication in 2013 because of quality-control issues. Elanco absorbed Novartis in a $5.4 billion takeover that took effect Jan. 1.

Interceptor Flavor Tabs, which are set to return this spring, are an “integral part of the new Elanco’s parasiticide portfolio,” spokeswoman Cathy Martin said Monday.

“Interceptor provides veterinarians with the right science at the best value,” Martin added.

Pricing information was not released.

Interceptor (milbemycin oxime) is formulated to prevent heartworms and intestinal worms. The drug is indicated for the treatment and control of hookworms, roundworms and whipworms in dogs and for adult roundworms and hookworms in cats.

Norvartis had sold about 1 billion doses of Interceptor Flavor Tabs when production issues emerged in 2011 at a plant in Lincoln, Neb., interrupting the supply of a number of other popular veterinary drugs, including the anti-parasites Sentinel Flavor Tabs and Sentinel Spectrum.

Sentinel reappeared in April 2013, the same month that Novartis announced that Interceptor was being discontinued. The Sentinel line was spun off to Virbac Animal Health as of Jan. 2 as part of Elanco’s purchase of Novartis.

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