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Intervet International bv has developed a vaccine against bluetongue serotype 8 for sheep and cattle

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Intervet Develops Bluetongue Vaccine

Intervet International bv has developed a vaccine against bluetongue serotype 8 for sheep and cattle. It is expected to be available in May.

The United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has already placed an order with Intervet to supply 22.5 million doses of the vaccine.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bluetongue is an insect-borne viral disease primarily of sheep, occasionall goats and deer and, rarely, cattle. It is not contagious and is transmitted only by insect vectors. Just recently, the European Commission said it is will co-finance an emergency mass vaccination campaign against bluetongue. In principle, 100 percent of vaccine purchase costs and 50 percent of vaccine application costs will be covered by the Community budget, subject to certain ceilings for operational costs.

Non-emergency vaccination campaigns in following years would be part of the Community co-financed eradication programs.

Markos Kyprianou, commissioner for health, estimates that about 150 million to 200 million vaccine doses will be required.

Intervet was bought by Schering-Plough Corp. of Kenilworth, N.J., last year.

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Wedgewood, Flavorx Partner for Tasty Meds

Wedgewood Pharmacy of Swedesboro, N.J., has teamed with Flavorx Inc. of Bethesda, Md., to help its compounded medications taste better.

Initially, Wedgwood will offer six unflavored compounds to Flavorx customers: potassium bromide, 250 mg/ml; clindamycin, 25 mg/ml; metronidazole benzoate, 50 mg/ml and 100 mg/ml; prednisolone 5 mg/ml; methimzole 5 mg/ml; and cisapride 5 mg/ml and 10 mg/ml.
Wedgewood also recently announced that veterinarians can return custom-compounded medications for exchange at no cost through its new Refresh exchange program.

The company will exchange unopened, expired compounded veterinary medications that are in its regular formulary, including those prepared by other compounding pharmacies. Exceptions include controlled substances and oncology-related medications.

In addition, Wedgewood introduced Tiny Tabs, a 6.25 mm-diameter, custom-compounded tablet dosage-form. The company says that the small size—about one-half the size of a Tic Tac breath mint—makes it easier for pet owners to pill animals and costs up to 70 percent less than other dosage forms, such as capsules.

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Atopic Survey Helps Vets Evaluate Treatment Protocol

The results of a new survey of owners with atopic dogs are helping veterinarians evaluate the benefits of long-term control and establish a more advanced treatment protocol for atopy.

The survey, entitled the Atopica Control Zone Project Pet Owner Survey, was sponsored by Novartis Animal Health U.S. Inc. of Greensboro, N.C.

The 962 people who participated were asked to track their dogs’ progress while using Atopica for 90 days, and then complete a survey about their experiences.

Results showed that 44 percent had consulted two or more veterinarians in search of a solution to their dog’s atopy; 17 percent consulted three or more veterinarians.

It also showed that 35 percent indicated their dog had suffered with atopic dermatitis for more than three years and an additional 36 percent reported their dog exhibited atopy symptoms for a 1- to 3-year period.

Asked to list other treatments they had tried to control their dog’s atopy, respondents named 29 different remedies, including acupuncture, hemorrhoid cream, herbs, sprays, anti-depressants, vitamins and powder.

Novartis worked with Keith Hnilica, DVM, Dipl. ACVD, to identify how the diagnostic process could be streamlined to support a faster route to diagnosing allergic skin conditions, and finding a long-term solution for patients.

“The key to diagnosing allergic skin conditions is to pinpoint the cause of a patient’s pruritus,” Dr. Hnilica said. “We’ve developed a simplified algorithm which includes the 3-Slide Technique. It utilizes basic cytology done in the clinic to help veterinarians find an answer quickly and accurately. I think clinics will be surprised how much can be learned through three simple slides.”

For details on “Diagnosis Simplified—A Faster Route to Comfort for Itchy Dogs,” visit www.us.atopica.com.

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Pharmaceutical Briefly

Merial’s Previcox (firocoxib), indicated for the control of pain and inflammation associated with canine osteoarthritis, is also now FDA-approved for the control of postoperative pain and inflammation associated with soft-tissue surgery in dogs. Previcox can be used at the same dose for both osteoarthritis and soft-tissue surgery, including spays and removal of skin tumors, according to the company. Merial is based in Duluth, Ga.

In a new agreement, Merial of Duluth, Ga., will screen Chimerix Inc.’s chemical library for animal health drug leads. Merial will have an option to negotiate a license with Chimerix for leads identified for possible animal health use. Chimerix is based in Durham, N.C.

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. celebrated the first anniversary of its companion animal brand at the North American Veterinary Conference in January. Last year, the company launched Comfortis, a chewable, beef-flavored tablet that kills fleas and prevents flea infestations for a full month, and Reconcile, an SSRI for the treatment of canine separation anxiety to be used with a behavior modification plan.

Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is looking into alternatives for its animal health business, including a possible divestiture. The division manufactures and markets proprietary and generic animal health products. More than 80 percent of Teva’s sales are in North America and Europe.

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