Fort Dodge Animal Health Announces Approval of West Nile Virus DNA Vaccine for Horses
Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth (NYSE: WYE - News), today announced the licensure of West Nile- Innovator® DNA, a novel vaccine for horses to aid in the prevention of viremia caused by the potentially deadly West Nile virus. Fort Dodge's development of this product, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, represents a tremendous milestone in DNA science and technology, as it is believed to be the first DNA vaccine in the world to be approved by a veterinary or human medicine regulatory agency for commercial sale.
"Fort Dodge, which has a long-standing commitment to innovative research and product development, recognized the significant value of DNA in the prevention of disease in animal populations, as well as humans, and worked with the CDC to develop West Nile-Innovator DNA," says Steve Chu, DVM, PhD, Senior Vice President, Global Research and Development, Fort Dodge Animal Health. "During this process, Fort Dodge made some groundbreaking discoveries that simplified the preparation and formulation of the vaccine, enabling the successful development, testing and registration of the first product of its kind."
Administered intramuscularly, West Nile-Innovator DNA causes the horse's cells to begin making proteins from the West Nile virus, which trigger a protective immune response. West Nile-Innovator DNA will be added to Fort Dodge's line of equine products in early 2006 and will be available to licensed veterinarians.
West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne disease, continues to be a significant health threat to U.S. horses-approximately one in three horses that become clinically ill with West Nile virus will die or be euthanized. All unvaccinated horses that come into contact with infected mosquitoes are at risk for contracting the disease. Since its discovery in 1999 through December 31, 2004, West Nile virus has spread rapidly across the United States with 22,602 cases of clinical West Nile virus reported in horses.
Fort Dodge has been in the forefront of West Nile virus prevention since 2001 when it introduced West Nile-Innovator, the first USDA-approved West Nile Virus vaccine for horses. In 2003, Fort Dodge introduced West Nile-Innovator combination vaccines for West Nile virus and encephalomyelitis. Since the introduction of these products, millions of horses have been safely and effectively vaccinated against these life-threatening diseases.
Fort Dodge Animal Health is a leading manufacturer and distributor of prescription and over-the-counter animal health care products for the livestock, companion animal, equine, swine and poultry industries in North America and international markets. Key equine products include QUEST® Gel, Pinnacle(TM) I.N., vaccines for EPM and the FLUVAC® Innovator line of vaccines.
The statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements based on current expectations of future events that involve risks and uncertainties including those detailed from time to time in Wyeth's periodic reports, including current reports on Form 8-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and the annual report on Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. Wyeth assumes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.