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Horse vaccine ‘next year’

THE company that makesan equine vaccine subject to acritical shortage in Australia is producing a batch of the product, butsays itintends onimporting it into Europe first.
Nanjing Night Net

On Thursday the Newcastle Herald reported fears of an “abortion storm” at Hunter Valley stud farms due to a critical shortage of the drug Duvaxyn, a vaccine for equine herpes.

Supply of the vaccine has been halted since the end of 2014when the only company that makes it, Zeolis, shifted its production from Europe to the United States.

It hasn’t explained the problem, but the company’s director of regulatory and scientific affairs, John Messer, saysthebatches produced “have not met the required standards for titres, a measure of the potency of the vaccine”.

The company says it aims to restore supply of the drug into Australia “next year”, but in the meantime, batches for European markets are still being produced.

Asked why the batch of the vaccine currently under production could not also be introduced to Australia, Mr Messer said in a statement that the company had “applied to the Department of Agriculture for a permit to import any batches produced to European specifications”.

He said the department would “need to assess whether the differing materials used in the European batch pose a risk to Australia’s biosecurity”.

He said it “will be necessary to apply to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for a permit to import specific batches for use in Australia”.

The company has also resisted calls to introduce a similar drug calledPneumabort which is currently licensedin New Zealand, because, it says,the lengthy process of licencing the drugwould mean it wasn’t available until 2018 or 2019 in a “best case” scenario.

“Given these timelines, we are putting all of our efforts into restoring supply of Duvaxynas quickly as possible, as we believe this is the quickest solution for Australian horse owners,” Mr Messer said.

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