News Archive

22 September 2015

Merck Animal Health Launches INNOVAX®-ILT Vaccine in European Union

Protects Poultry against Highly Contagious Respiratory Virus

MADISON, NJ, September 22, 2015 – Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada) today announced the launch of INNOVAX®-ILT, the company’s novel vaccine that, in a single shot, protects poultry against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) as well as Marek’s disease for use in the European Union. INNOVAX-ILT is Merck Animal Health’s first vector vaccine to launch in the EU, and is the first and only vector vaccine available in the EU to protect against infectious laryngotracheitis. The vaccine will be available to customers starting in September 2015, depending on local approval regulations.

“Infectious laryngotracheitis is a significant concern across the poultry industry since the virus – as well as some existing preventative measures – can have a negative impact on growth and overall performance of the chickens,” said Dr. Rik Koopman, Global Technical Director, Merck Animal Health. “What makes INNOVAX -ILT a true advance is that with a single shot; it helps farmers effectively protect their poultry against ILT virus as well as Marek’s disease, without compromising growth or causing respiratory reactions that impair performance. Merck Animal Health is proud to offer a vaccine that will improve poultry health and efficiency.”

Infectious laryngotracheitis is an acute, highly contagious, herpesvirus infection of chickens and other poultry characterized by severe dyspnea (gasping or shortness of breath), coughing and rales (rattling or abnormal lung sounds). Typically, affected birds also become anorectic (reduced appetite), or inactive. ILT also causes a drop in egg production in laying birds. Infectious laryngotracheitis has been a growing and costly problem in recent years for poultry producers, and the infection can affect broilers as well as breeders and layers.

INNOVAX -ILT utilizes the herpesvirus of turkey (HVT) as a vector or carrier virus for infectious laryngotracheitis antigens; HVT is well recognized as safe for chickens and also protects against Marek’s disease, another herpesvirus that causes tumors, immunosuppression and sometimes mortality. The vaccine allows birds to develop immunity against infectious laryngotracheitis and Marek’s disease before they are exposed to the viruses that cause these diseases. The vaccine also helps producers reduce labor costs because it requires only a single dose at the hatchery; the vaccine is administered via subcutaneous injection in day-old chicks. The vaccine offers long protection against ILT (at least 60 weeks) in long-lived chickens such as broiler breeders and commercial layers.

Detailed conditions of the product are described in the summary of product characteristics (SPC), published on the European Medicines Agency’s website.

About Merck Animal Health

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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