MSD Animal Health Partners with Laboratórios LETI to Distribute LetiFend® Vaccine for the Prevention of Canine Leishmaniasis in Europe
MADISON, NEW JERSEY, November 16, 2017 – MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, today announced a new partnership with Laboratorios LETI to distribute LetiFend®, the first recombinant vaccine in Europe for the prevention of canine Leishmaniasis, a serious disease caused by infection with the parasite Leishmania infantum (L. infantum. As part of the agreement, MSD Animal Health has exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine in France, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom. LETI will retain distribution rights in Spain and Portugal.
“We are excited about this partnership with MSD Animal Health to distribute LetiFend,” said Jaime Grego, President of Laboratorios LETI. “Their vaccine expertise and commercial reach will help make this important product available to more veterinarians and pet owners, as we work to prevent the spread of canine Leishmaniasis in Europe.”
Leishmaniasis, prevalent in many countries in Europe and warmer areas of the world, is an infection spread by female sandflies. Dogs that have been infected may show no signs of infection, but those with symptoms of active disease, such as fever, hair and weight loss, and skin sores, require long-term medication and monitoring[i]. Infected dogs can help spread the disease to humans[ii].
Classified as a Neglected Tropical Disease (NDT) by the World Health Organization[iii], leishmaniasis has few treatment options, increasing the importance of vaccination to strengthen the immune response before infection occurs.
“As a leader in biologics, MSD Animal Health has a strong track record of providing a range of global vaccines products for animal health diseases,” said Dr. Hans-Guenther Dittrich, regional vice president Europe, Middle East, North Africa & Russia, MSD Animal Health. “We are pleased to collaborate with Laboratórios LETI to distribute LetiFend, which complements our companion animal product portfolio, and reinforces our commitment to protecting and improving the health of animals.”
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The product is expected to be distributed in France, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom, in the coming months.
About MSD Animal Health
For more than a century, MSD, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. MSD Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of MSD. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, MSD Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. MSD Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. MSD Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.msd-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Laboratorios LETI
Laboratorios LETI, founded in 1919, is an independent and family-owned biopharmaceutical research company. In its different areas of expertise, it seeks to contribute products to society that add value to human and animal health. Today, immunology, preventive and personalized medicine and biological products are the most important pillars of the company, although its area of influence and product range have significanlty diversified.
For more than 25 years Laboratorios LETI has been committed to the development of vaccines for human and canine leishmaniasis, demonstrating its innovative and entrepreneurial capacity. In 2016 the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved LetiFend® vaccine in all EU member states for the active immunization of dogs to reduce the risk of developing clinical leishmaniais. LETI is now in the process of developing a vaccine against human Leishmaniasis, an illness which is endemic in more than 80 countries, that has some 350 million people at risk in the world.
Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).
[i] Companion Animal Parasite Council, Leishmaniasis. Available at https://www.capcvet.org/guidelines/leishmaniasis/
[ii] Letifend European public assessment report (EPAR) Available at http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/EPAR_-_Summary_for_the_public/veterinary/003865/WC500207742.pdf
[iii] World Health Organization, Leishmaniasis. Available at http://www.who.int/leishmaniasis/burden/en/