Nature recognizes discovery of new class of parasiticide

SWITZERLAND – Following the release today of landmark research data in Nature, international experts from the world of parasitology acclaimed a new class of anthelmintics from Novartis Animal Health as a major scientific advance.
calendar icon 13 March 2008
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The article reports the results of what Professor Timothy Geary, Canada Research Chair and Director of the Institute of Parasitology, McGill University, Quebec, Canada, described as a 'textbook case of modern anthelmintic discovery'. The data include details of the activity, shown in trials thus far, of AADs against all sheep and cattle gastro-intestinal nematodes, including those resistant to existing treatments.

The discovery by Novartis Animal Health of the Amino Acetonitrile Derivative (AAD) class has been hailed by leading specialists as a cause of great promise, excitement and hope following publication in the journal Nature

Professor Geary spoke of the publication: "The appearance of this paper in Nature reflects the global importance of the discovery of the AADs. These data show great promise and are exciting news for all those interested in livestock parasite control. They represent a major advance for parasitology, offering hope for a future in which such novel anthelmintics allow us to once more control parasitic worms, including those for which existing anthelmintics are no longer effective."

The development of the AAD class is another example of Novartis Animal Health’s commitment to meeting the needs of its customers. Dr Ronald Kaminsky, Head of Parasitology at Novartis Animal Health, and lead author of the paper, said: "The research team is delighted to see this paper, with its encouraging results, being recognized by the scientific community. This discovery will further stimulate our ongoing development program, in particular our investigations into the apparent resistance breaking nature of the AADs due to their novel mode of action.

Thanks to the dedication and continuing efforts of our R&D staff we have already identified the first of the AADs that we hope to commercialize, and are hoping to bring it to market as quickly as possible, subject to regulatory approval."

The AADs have already been widely proclaimed by many experts as a significant step forward in livestock farming since first coming to public attention in August 2007. "In an industry already under significant pressure from anthelmintic resistance, the AADs have the potential to revolutionize parasite management" according to Dr Frank Jackson from The Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The AADs would become the first new anthelmintic class available for use in livestock in nearly 30 years if they successfully reach the market. No medicine from this class of chemistry currently has a marketing authorization.

The results outlined in the article are believed to be linked to the advanced mode of action of the AADs, which has been elucidated in a unique partnership between Novartis Animal Health, Cambria Bioscience, the University of Bern and the Central Veterinary Laboratory of Côte D’Ivoire.

Dr. Peter Wells, Global Head of Research & Development for the Animal Health business of Novartis welcomed the article: "This publication, like the development of the AADs, is another example of the quality and success of the world-class research and development being undertaken by Novartis Animal Health. It stands testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone at Novartis Animal Health to address the problems faced by our customers, and we look forward to being able to share further information with you on the continuing development of this class.

As my colleague Dr Kaminsky indicated in his article, hopefully, today we are one step closer to dealing with the problem of parasite resistance in livestock."

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