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Novartis To Commercialise Pancreas Disease Vaccine

Trout Health

GENERAL - Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health has granted Novartis Animal Health exclusive rights to part of its patent portfolio for pancreas disease (PD) vaccines.

The agreement paves the way for Novartis Animal Health to commercialise a new pancreas disease vaccine based on innovative vaccine technology. This will potentially offer salmon producers in Norway, the UK and Ireland a unique alternative for managing this costly disease, which is prevalent in these countries.

In 2008, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health introduced its current vaccine for pancreas disease, Norvax Compact PD. This whole virus-based vaccine is currently used successfully in over 100 million salmon in Norway each year.

Hank Behrend, Head of the Global Aquatic Animal Business for Intervet/Schering-Plough, acknowledges that the vaccine from Novartis would compete with Norvax Compact PD. But our primary interest is supporting the salmon industry, Mr Behrend says. We have maintained that we would grant a licence to our pancreas disease vaccine patents if we believed that the application would bring a different approach to the control of pancreas disease. Both products offer unique features and benefits for the salmon industry. We are pleased to enable Novartis to provide the industry with another tool for managing this disease.

Pancreas disease was first recognized in Scotland more than 20 years ago in farm-raised Atlantic salmon. In the last five years it has re-emerged in Norway, Scotland and Ireland as a major threat to fish health and a constraint on sustainability in fish farming. Scientists have learned over time that pancreas disease is a complex disease and affects the heart and skeletal muscle as well as the pancreas. It is caused by the salmonid alphavirus (SAV), which can also affect fresh-water rainbow trout across Europe and sea-reared rainbow trout in Norway.