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Intervet opens new FMD vaccine facility

03 July 2007

MSD Animal Health - Pigs

BOXMEER – Intervet, the largest vaccine producer world-wide, has opened a new formulation and filling unit at the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine factory in Cologne, Germany. With this factory Intervet substantially strengthens its worldwide position in the field of FMD vaccines.

After a mini symposium with international FMD experts, Dr Alf-Eckbert Füssel, Head of sector animal health-trade and zootechnics of the European Committee, and Dr Ruurd Stolp, President Intervet opened officially the new formulation and filling unit of the FMD factory.

After an intensive refurbishment and reconstruction of one year, the new unit meets the strictest quality requirements and fully complies with all the rules of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). Clean rooms in the building are highly sophisticated and all technical installations are top-quality. The fully integrated hydrogen peroxide disinfection system is very effective and easier to use than methods previously employed.

Dr. Füssel pointed out: ”To react quickly in case of an outbreak of this severe disease we have to be prepared. By mobilizing the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders and in particular between the vaccine manufacturers and the reference laboratories we have to implement a common vision on global control and eventually eradication of FMD.”

Ruurd Stolp stated: “Finalizing this investment is an important step to develop the site in Cologne into Intervet’s international competence center for FMD vaccine research, development and production. The factory -in combination with our expertise in vaccine production- will significantly contribute to the needs of the market for safe and efficacious FMD vaccines to control the disease. In addition, this factory will provide an antigen bank, which -under government contracts- can guarantee emergency supply of FMD vaccines.” The Cologne site is one out of only four FMD vaccine production sites, which are officially approved by the EU.

Foot and Mouth Disease is a highly contagious disease in pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. There is no risk to human health. The disease is endemic in various regions around the world. In Europe, the latest outbreak in 2001 resulted in killing millions of healthy animals in bonfires or renders plants and had serious consequences for the farming sector and rural areas.

Intervet has also FMD vaccine production sites in Brazil (Fortaleza) and India (Pune) that are mainly used to supply their respective national markets. With the factory in Cologne, Intervet considerably expands its position in the commercial and institutional sales markets for FMD vaccines in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The factory also significantly increases Intervet’s worldwide capacity for large scale production in fermentors of cell-culture based vaccines.

For more information on Foot-And-Mouth Disease please click here.

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