Merck Animal Health Announces ACTIVYL and ACTIVYL Tick Plus for European Markets

BOXMEER (The Netherlands), April 11, 2012 – Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada), a leading provider of innovative animal health products and services, today announced the European launch of ACTIVYL® (indoxacarb) and ACTIVYL® Tick Plus (indoxacarb plus permethrin). ACTIVYL treats and prevents flea infestations in dogs and cats; ACTIVYL Tick Plus, exclusively for dogs, controls both fleas and ticks.

“Both products will be available strictly through licensed veterinarians, benefiting dogs and cats and their owners by controlling fleas in an innovative way”, said David Hallas, BVSc and companion animal franchise leader at Merck Animal Health. “ACTIVYL brings a totally new approach based around the latest innovation in flea control – bioactivation – which is combined in ACTIVYL Tick Plus with the trusted tick protection of permethrin”, added Dr. Thierry Martine, DVM, global product director for companion animal antiparasitics.

ACTIVYL for dogs and cats
ACTIVYL is the first flea control product to use metabolic activation, or bioactivation, to kill fleas. It is a topical, once-a-month ectoparasiticide containing indoxacarb, an agent that is new to animal health and has no known flea resistance. Following application, indoxacarb is taken up by fleas where it is converted into a highly active metabolite. This metabolite causes fleas to stop feeding and they die within hours. Unlike insects, mammals mainly convert indoxacarb into non-toxic metabolites so they are not exposed to the active insecticide.

ACTIVYL also disrupts the flea life cycle by inhibiting the development of flea larvae. This aids in the environmental control of flea infestations and helps prevent re-infestation for up to four weeks. It may also be used as part of a treatment strategy for flea allergy dermatitis. In laboratory and field studies, ACTIVYL has been shown to have a fast initial and persistent speed of kill that results in greater than 95 percent efficacy in preventing flea infestation for a full four weeks (Merck Animal Health, data on file).

“This innovation is the first time that a pro-insecticide, requiring activation by flea enzymes to produce a highly insecticidal active metabolite that kills adult and developing stages of fleas in the immediate environment of treated pets, has been used to provide flea control in dogs and cats” added Dr. Linda Horspool, BVMS, PhD, DipECVPT, MRCVS, global technical director for companion animal pharmaceuticals and parasiticides at Merck Animal Health.

Dispensed in clear pipettes that can easily be opened with one hand, ACTIVYL is fragrance-free, dries quickly and remains effective following shampooing, swimming and exposure to sunlight. Seven sizes are available to treat small to extra-large dogs (five sizes) and small and large cats (two sizes). The product is approved for use in puppies and kittens from eight weeks of age.

ACTIVYL Tick Plus for dogs
ACTIVYL Tick Plus is exclusively for dogs and combines the effective flea control of ACTIVYL with long-lasting protection against ticks. In addition to indoxacarb, ACTIVYL Tick Plus contains permethrin, an acaricide with proven efficacy against ticks. Studies have shown that ACTIVYL Tick Plus kills more than 90 percent of common tick species including those known to carry such diseases as Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis and Lyme disease (Merck Animal Health, data on file).

Once applied, ACTIVYL Tick Plus kills fleas for up to four weeks and kills and repels ticks for three to five weeks. It remains effective following swimming and exposure to rain or sunlight. The product is also provided in easy to use applicators in a variety of different sizes and has been approved for use in puppies from as young as eight weeks of age. ACTIVYL Tick Plus is not for use on cats.