December 17, 2015

2015 Nobel Prize Winners laid Groundwork for Animal-Health Breakthroughs

Avermectin discovery foundation for parasite control advancements from Merial

Duluth, Ga. – October 2015 – Dr. William C. Campbell and Dr. Satoshi Omura were awarded the prestigious 2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine for their discovery of avermectin. The active ingredient that revolutionized the animal-health industry and also led to the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases, including river blindness in humans. It also prevents heartworm disease in dogs.1

Originally developed for livestock, the ground-breaking discovery of avermectin led to the development of Merial products that have had a significant impact on the international food supply today.

Building on Campbell and Omura’s heritage, scientists at Merial created

IVOMEC® (ivermectin), the first endectocide for both internal and external parasites in cattle. IVOMEC uses a modified version of avermectin called ivermectin. This advancement revolutionized the parasite control category, providing an opportunity to safely increase production of an important source of high-quality protein for a growing worldwide population. Another tribute to this molecule’s innovation is its amazing effectiveness even today after decades of use.

“In 1984 when IVOMEC was launched in the U.S., it was truly a game changer due to its unique broad spectrum, efficacy and safety. The animal health industry had never seen anything like it. The product is administered at such a low dose rate, researchers had to develop new methods to measure it. This was a brand new concept for pharmaceutical companies,” says Bruce Nosky, DVM, director of Merial Large Animal Veterinary Services.

Merial also was able to utilize ivermectin outside of its livestock division.

Following that development, Merial scientists created products such as

HEARTGARD® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel), the most recommended heartworm disease preventive for dogs2, and ZIMECTERIN® Gold (ivermectin/praziquantel), one of several dewormers for horses. Later, EPRINEX® (eprinomectin), formulated with the avermectin-based molecule eprinomectin, was created with unique properties such as being weatherproof and including a zero milk withdrawal time on the label.

Most recently, Merial scientists created a new product, LONGRANGE® (eprinomectin), that allows control of parasites in cattle for up to 150 days in a single dose3 – and that’s something conventional dewormers just can’t match.4-6 Because of its innovation and contribution to the animal health industry, it was recognized by Animal Pharm as Best Food Animal Product 2014.

“Merial is a leader in parasite -control products for the pet, cattle and equine industries – in large part because of the efforts of these scientists,” said Nosky. “We extend our congratulations and thanks to these extraordinary scientists, and are proud to be part of their legacy.”

Much like Dr. Campbell and Dr. Omura, Merial is dedicated to continually provide new technologies to help move the animal-health industry forward. Today, Merial markets a variety of products with avermectin as the parent to the active ingredient. To learn more about these products offered and about Merial, visit http://www.merial.com.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR IVOMEC POUR-ON: Do not treat cattle within 48 days of slaughter. Do not use in dairy cattle of breeding age or in veal calves. Do not use in other animal species not on the label as severe adverse reactions, including fatalities in dogs, may result.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR IVOMEC 1% INJECTION: Do not treat cattle within 35 days of slaughter. Do not use in dairy cattle of breeding age or in veal calves. Do not treat swine within 18 days of slaughter. Do not use in other animal species not on the label as severe adverse reactions, including fatalities in dogs, may result.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATON FOR EPRINEX: No meat or milk withdrawal is required when used according to label. Do not use in calves intended for veal or unapproved animal species as severe adverse reaction, including fatalities in dogs, may result.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR ZIMECTERIN Gold : Not for use in humans. Keep this and all drugs out of reach of children. In horses, there have been rare reports of swelling and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue following administration of ZIMECTERIN Gold. These reactions have been transitory in nature. Do not use in other animal species as severe adverse reactions, including fatalities in dogs, may result.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR LONGRANGE: Do not treat within 48 days of slaughter. Not for use in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older, including dry dairy cows, or in veal calves. Post-injection site damage (e.g., granulomas, necrosis) can occur. These reactions have disappeared without treatment.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR HEARTGARD PLUS : HEARTGARD Plus is well tolerated. All dogs should be tested for heartworm infection before starting a preventive program. Following the use of HEARTGARD Plus, digestive and neurological side effects have rarely been reported.

About Merial

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,100 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with more than €2 billion of sales in 2014.

Merial is a Sanofi company.

For more information, please see www.merial.com.

®IVOMEC, EPRINEX, LONGRANGE, HEARTGARD and ZIMECTERIN are registered trademarks of Merial. ©2015 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. RUMIEIP1501 (10/15)

  • 1 World Health Organization. WHO welcomes Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 for discoveries of drugs against tropical diseases. http://www.who.int/neglected_diseases/news/nobel_prize_2015/en/. Accessed October 6, 2015.
  • 2 Data on file at Merial: Veterinarian’s #1 choice for heartworm disease prevention in dogs.
  • 3 Dependent upon parasite species, as referenced in FOI summary and LONGRANGE product label.
  • 4 CYDECTIN Injectable product label.
  • 5 DECTOMAX Injectable product label.
  • 6 SAFE-GUARD product label.

For Heartgard® Plus (ivermectin/pyrantel) full prescribing information, click here.