MSD Animal Health Partners with Laboratórios LETI to Distribute LetiFend® Vaccine for the Prevention of Canine Leishmaniasis in Europe
As part of the agreement, MSD Animal Health has exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine in France, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom.
MADISON, NEW JERSEY, November 16, 2017 – MSD Animal Health (known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada) today announced a new partnership with Laboratorios LETI to distribute LetiFend®, the first recombinant vaccine in Europe for the prevention of canine Leishmaniasis, a serious disease caused by infection with the parasite Leishmania infantum (L. infantum). As part of the agreement, MSD Animal Health has exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine in France, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom. LETI will retain distribution rights in Spain and Portugal.
“We are excited about this partnership with MSD Animal Health to distribute LetiFend,” said Jaime Grego, President of Laboratorios LETI. “Their vaccine expertise and commercial reach will help make this important product available to more veterinarians and pet owners, as we work to prevent the spread of canine Leishmaniasis in Europe.”
Leishmaniasis, prevalent in many countries in Europe and warmer areas of the world, is an infection spread by female sandflies. Dogs that have been infected may show no signs of infection, but those with symptoms of active disease, such as fever, hair and weight loss, and skin sores, require long-term medication and monitoringi. Infected dogs can help spread the disease to humansii.
Classified as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NDT) by the World Health Organizationiii, leishmaniasis has few treatment options, increasing the importance of vaccination to strengthen the immune response before infection occurs.
“As a leader in biologics, MSD Animal Health has a strong track record of providing a range of global vaccines products for animal health diseases,” said Dr. Hans-Guenther Dittrich, Regional Vice President Europe, Middle East, North Africa & Russia, MSD Animal Health. “We are pleased to collaborate with Laboratórios LETI to distribute LetiFend, which complements our companion animal product portfolio, and reinforces our commitment to protecting and improving the health of animals.”
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The product is expected to be distributed in France, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom, in the coming months.
About MSD Animal Health
For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of MSD.Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD 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. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.msd-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn.
About Laboratorios LETI
Laboratorios LETI, founded in 1919, is an independent and family-owned biopharmaceutical research company. In its different areas of expertise, it seeks to contribute products to society that add value to human and animal health. Today, immunology, preventive and personalized medicine and biological products are the most important pillars of the company, although its area of influence and product range have significanlty diversified.
For more than 25 years Laboratorios LETI has been committed to the development of vaccines for human and canine leishmaniasis, demonstrating its innovative and entrepreneurial capacity. In 2016 the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved LetiFend® vaccine in all EU member states for the active immunization of dogs to reduce the risk of developing clinical leishmaniais. LETI is now in the process of developing a vaccine against human Leishmaniasis, an illness which is endemic in more than 80 countries, that has some 350 million people at risk in the world.
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iCompanion Animal Parasite Council, Leishmaniasis. Available at https://www.capcvet.org/guidelines/leishmaniasis/
iiLetifend European public assessment report (EPAR) Available at http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Summary_for_the_public/veterinary/003865/WC500207742.pdf
iiiWorld Health Organization, Leishmaniasis. Available at http://www.who.int/leishmaniasis/burden/en/