​Duluth, GA – May 05, 2011 – Merial’s VAXXITEK HVT + IBD has been launched in China. This high-technology vector vaccine, the product of Merial R&D, protects chickens against infectious bursal disease (IBD) and Marek’s disease. Experience both in China and elsewhere has conclusively demonstrated its benefits and return on investment.

The launch took place in Hangzhou city on 18 April in front of an invited audience of producers and veterinarians. Speaking at the event, Professor BI (Chairman Wen Central Research Institute) said:

"In terms of IBD control, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD will be magical for China’s poultry industry. As we experienced first hand at Wen with our 700 million color broiler production, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD is convenient to use, controls vaccination better and improves feed conversion.”

Professor BI (Chairman Wen Central Research Institute)

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD is registered in 66 countries around the world. First was Brazil where over 5 billion birds have been vaccinated since launch in 2006. Addressing the audience in Hangzhou, Dr Fabricio Delgado of Brazil Foods said:

“We have used VAXXITEK HVT + IBD for four years. It improves performance, especially feed conversion and delivers a great return on investment for our business. As a hatchery vaccine, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD is also beneficial for biosecurity.”

Dr Fabricio Delgado, Brazil Foods

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD has demonstrated significant advantages over classical vaccines in a number of ways. Said Merial Head of Global Avian Technical Services, Dr Stéphane Lemière:

“Producers only need a single injection, which can be delivered automatically in ovo or in SQ day old birds. Protection continues throughout life and, unlike classic vaccines, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD has little or no immunity gap between the end of maternal antibody protection and the onset of immunity. VAXXITEK HVT + IBD has been proven worldwide under various types of IBD challenges.”

Dr Stéphane Lemière, Merial Head of Global Avian Technical Services

Professor Frederic Hoerr (Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine) addressed the correlation between bursa integrity and immune potency. He pointed out:

“Based on the histopathology surveys in China and other countries, VAXXITEK HVT + IBD provides bursa protection demonstrated by improved follicular restitution. During field challenge of very virulent IBD full protection in standard field challenge conditions was demonstrated and under more challenging conditions a later breakthrough was also evidenced in Chinese conditions”

Professor Frederic Hoerr (Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine)

Professor Sarge Bilgili (Dept of Poultry Science, Auburn University) explained the importance of flock health on final product quality and safety in the chicken slaughterhouse, including positive impact on yield and economic return through better flock performance, weight uniformity and lower condemnation rate.

Experience in China

Chinese poultry producers began field trials with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD in May 2010. Studies confirmed the experiences overseas and were discussed at the launch meeting.

Professor Cao (School of Life Sciences, SUN YAT-SEN University) reported local challenge studies with both SPF and commercial broilers. He observed better and earlier protection against local vvIBD isolates during 3-5 weeks of age.

Dr ZHANG Qi, (Director of Production & Technology of Zhejiang Wen) shared his field experience:

“We found that intermediate plus IBD live vaccine usually triggered strong reactions in chickens, especially for those with mild respiratory signs. This was not the case with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD, consequently performance improved. For example, Feed Conversion Rate was a significant 3 points lower and uniformity also improved.”

Dr ZHANG Qi, (Director of Production & Technology of Zhejiang Wen)

Dr DIE who led the layer trial, reported his customer survey after 9 months’ VAXXITEK HVT + IBD vaccination:

“About 95% of our layer customers confirmed their willingness to continue vaccinating with VAXXITEK HVT + IBD. They value its ease of use - just one shot in hatchery - no field administration, reduced vaccination reactions and medicine costs, also lower mortality, uniformity and body weights in vaccinated flocks.”

Dr. DIE, leader of the layer trial

Two other industrial representatives, Dr. CAI (Sunny) and Dr. WEI (Lihua), showed their confidence in VAXXITEK HVT + IBD following its good IBD control, better feed conversion and better yield.

Notes for editors

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD is a novel vector vaccine developed by Merial. The vector is turkey herpes virus (HVT) and to this has been inserted the IBD vP2 gene. Together they offer a safer, more convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional vaccines.

VAXXITEK HVT + IBD was declared “Best New Livestock Product” by Animal Pharm magazine when it was launched in 2006.

Merial has recently completed a major investment at its Nanchang site in order to manufacture VAXXITEK HVT + IBD in China.

For further information please contact:

Natasha Mahanes
+1 678 638 3690

Philip Connolly
+44 1279 775846

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 approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2012 sales were over $2.2 billion. Merial is the animal health division of Sanofi.