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Merial launches Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD in Malaysia


Singapore – 10 December 2013 – Merial announces the launch of Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD in Malaysia, a vector vaccine that protects chickens against Marek's disease and infectious bursal disease.


Supported by its exclusive local distributor, Rhone Ma Malaysia, the launch took place at Livestock Asia which was held in September in Kuala Lumpur- an important biennial industry show gathering local industry players, stakeholders and visitors from across Malaysia.


The guests-of-honor at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that kicked off the launch included Dato Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, and Datuk Dr. Abdul Aziz bin Jamaluddin, Director General of Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia. Representatives of Merial and Rhonema are Mr. Harry Picard, Avian Head of Marketing for Merial Asia and Dr. Lim Ban Keong, Managing Director of Rhonema.


Infectious bursal disease (IBD) and Marek’s disease (MD) are immunosuppressive diseases that are known to cause significant economic losses to poultry producers and breeders worldwide. Thanks to advancement in vaccine technology, only one shot of Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD is necessary to provide early and lifelong protection against MD and IBD including the classic, very virulent and variant forms of IBD. Since the product launch, more than 35 billion doses have been administered worldwide.


“A solid immune foundation can be induced by early vaccination in the hatchery using the in-ovo or subcutaneous route with more precision and control. This eliminates the uncertainty often associated with drinking water application in the farms. We are very pleased to be the first to bring this novel vaccine to Malaysia and we are certain that our customers will benefit greatly from the convenience of hatchery vaccination,” Dr. Karen Yip, Director Technical Service of Rhonema mentioned.


Speaking at the conference, Dr. Michael Lee, Avian Technical Director for Asia, explained how Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD is unlike other classical live and immune complex vaccines commonly found in the market. The vaccine employs the HVT MD vaccine strain as a vector to carry the expressing viral protein 2 (VP2) gene of the IBD virus needed to protect against IBD. The HVT vector itself gives protection against Marek’s disease.


Sharing some of the trials that have been conducted on Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD worldwide, Dr. Lee added that even in the presence of high levels of IBD maternal antibodies, one shot of Vaxxitek HVT+IBD in the hatchery induces early IBD protection and avoids the immunity gap that occurs at around 21-28 days of age in chickens. During this period, birds vaccinated with classical live IBD and immune complex vaccines would not have acquired full immunity to IBD while the protection from the maternal antibodies are waning.


“Live IBD virus has to replicate in the bursa of Fabricius in order to trigger the production of IBD antibodies. However, during the replication process, the live IBD virus causes some damage to the bursa. On the contrary, with Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD, there is no such replication or damage in the bursa and therefore no compromise in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine,” he added.


Merial’s customers who are using Vaxxitek® HVT+IBD have reported improvements in production performance and an increase in returns on investment (ROI). With a strong immune foundation, birds are less susceptible to disease challenges and reducing the need for medication.


“Viral and bacterial diseases such as infectious bronchitis, EDS-76, Newcastle disease, Avian Influenza, Colibaccillosis, Fowl Cholera and also Mycotoxicosis have a more direct and negative impact on the reproductive system of poultry,” Professor Charles added.


About Merial

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 more than 6,200 people in more than 150 countries with close to €2 billion of sales.

Merial is a Sanofi company.