Merial today announced the introduction of a new inactivated vaccine, GALLIMUNE Flu H5N9, developed and shown to be effective specifically for use against the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 that has caused devastating economic losses in the poultry industry in Asia, and which has been linked to the deaths of over 29 humans.
Once vaccinated by GALLIMUNE Flu H5N9, chickens can be readily differentiated from infected birds through the use of the DIVA (differentiating infected from vaccinated animals) serological diagnostic test, which detects a non-pathogenic influenza strain contained in the vaccine.
GALLIMUNE Flu H5N9, an inactivated vaccine, joins TROVAC AIV H5 as Merial's second major introduction of avian influenza vaccines. Recently conducted experiments with TROVAC AIV have shown the efficacy of this fowlpox vector avian influenza vaccine against the pathogenic Asian H5N1 virus. Tests conducted at government laboratories in the United States and Australia demonstrated significant levels of protection against viruses isolated in Korea and Vietnam. The vaccine was also able to reduce or eliminate the shedding of the virulent virus from the vaccinated chickens.
TROVAC AIV H5 is the only USDA licensed avian influenza vaccine for administration to chickens at one day of age. More than one billion doses of the TROVAC AIV H5 vaccine have been sold in Mexico and Central America since 1998.
TROVAC data is also being evaluated by international agencies and experts for inclusion in international guidelines for controlling and preventing avian influenza outbreaks.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 6,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2004 sales were in excess of $1.8 billion. Merial Limited is a joint venture between Merck & Co., Inc. and sanofi-aventis.