NexGard Success Triggers Factory Expansion

Merial will step up production of the flea and tick killer NexGard.

Afoxolaner, the active ingredient in NexGard, acts as an ectoparasiticide, killing parasites such as fleas and ticks.

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Merial Ltd. broke ground Monday on the $25 million expansion of a manufacturing plant in Paulinia, Brazil, to support additional production of the new flea and tick medication NexGard.

Launched early this year, NexGard (afoxolaner) Chewables rang up $40 million in U.S. sales in the second quarter. That figure represented 9 percent of Merial’s international companion animal business.

Merial CEO Carsten Hellmann called the expansion of the Paulinia facility—one of 18 plants worldwide—“an important part of our global business and manufacturing strategy.”

“With [NexGard] registrations filed globally, we are significantly expanding our current manufacturing capacity to prepare for demand and growth,” Hellmann said.

NexGard is a vegetable-based, meatless chew approved for use in dogs at least 8 weeks old and weighing four pounds or more. The monthly prescription medication is indicated to kill fleas and a variety of ticks.

The medication also is sold in Europe and Japan. The expansion is expected to ultimately supply more than 100 countries.

The construction should be finished in early 2015, Merial reported. The work includes 21,000 square feet of additional production rooms and new equipment.

The Paulinia plant should create 85 jobs, bringing the workforce to more than 450 people, said Jorge Espanha, who oversees Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia for Merial.

Merial, the animal health subsidiary of Sanofi, is headquartered in Duluth, Ga.

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