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Merial Pioneers PURE VAX ™ Ferret Distemper Vaccine — Responds to Need for Ferret Vaccine with Innovative Recombinant Technology

October 9, 2001

DULUTH, Ga. — Merial, the world's leading animal health company, launches PUREVAX™ Ferret Distemper Vaccine, an innovative vaccine to control canine distemper in ferrets. With the U.S. Department of Agriculture's approval of this vaccine, Merial becomes the first animal health company to offer a complete line of vaccines for ferrets.

This vaccine was developed with Merials state-of-the-art recombinant canarypox vectored technology, in which only the portion of the virus or bacteria needed to stimulate an immune response is used. The only animal health company with the patented canarypox vectored technology, Merial first used it in its PUREVAX rabies vaccines for cats and in the RECOMBITEK® distemper vaccines for dogs.

PUREVAX Ferret Distemper Vaccine is a pure and effective vaccine, which does not contain adjuvants or the whole canine distemper virus, and has a unique safety profile that eliminates the potential risks of post-vaccination encephalitis and immunosuppression.

Distemper is considered a serious viral disease in ferrets, with mortality rates approaching 100 percent. Currently, treatment of ferret distemper consists of supportive therapy, fluids and antibiotics, which are ultimately of little value. "With more than 10 million ferrets in U.S. households, the key is to prevent distemper in ferrets," says Zack Mills, D.V.M., director, vaccine marketing, companion animal global enterprise at Merial.

"Merial saw an unmet need for this vaccine and worked to provide an innovative solution, in keeping with company's mission of enhancing the health and well-being of animals," Mills says. "This vaccine builds on the companys leadership in vaccine development."

The goal of recombinant technology in immunology is to produce vaccines that afford unsurpassed safety, effectiveness and convenience while working to reduce or eliminate the drawbacks that have been associated with conventional vaccines, such as reversion to virulence. Merial has been using recombinant technology to develop products since 1996.

For more information about Merial, visit www.merial.com.

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Merial Ferret Vaccines

Merial is the only animal health company to offer a complete line of vaccines for ferrets: PUREVAX™ Ferret Distemper Vaccine and IMRAB® 3.

PUREVAX Ferret Distemper Vaccine

  • PUREVAX Ferret Distemper vaccine is recommended for the vaccination of healthy ferrets eight weeks of age and older for prevention of disease due to the canine distemper virus.

  • Ferrets may contract distemper from contact with infected animals.

  • Distemper should be suspected in any unvaccinated exposed ferret showing clinical signs, which may include a characteristic dermatitis in which the skin around the lips and chin is swollen, crusty and orange-tinged. A similar rash may be evident around the anus; and the footpads may become thickened and the eyelids may adhere to each other. The affected ferret may also have anorexia, depression, fever, sensitivity to light, abundant thick discharge around the eyes or nose, or a cough.

  • PUREVAX Ferret Distemper Vaccine was developed using recombinant canarypox vectored technology; only the portion of the virus or bacteria needed to stimulate an immune response is used.

Vaccination schedule

  • One (1) mL subcutaneously at eight weeks or older

  • Two (2) additional 1 mL doses at three-week intervals, for a total of three doses

  • All ferrets should receive an annual 1 mL booster vaccination

IMRAB 3

  • IMRAB 3 protects ferrets from rabies and can be given as young as 12 weeks of age, with yearly boosters.

Vaccination schedule

  • One (1) mL subcutaneously at 12 weeks or older

  • All ferrets should receive an annual 1 mL booster vaccination



For further information please contact:

Ann Stawski
(262) 784-7200
atstawski@bader-rutter.com

Nalini Saligram
(678) 638-3681
nalini.saligram@merial.com

™PUREVAX is a trademark and RECOMBITEK® is a registered trademark of Merial, Duluth, Ga.
 
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