CHICAGO Aug 5 Zoetis Inc, the world's
largest animal-health company, plans to seek U.S. approval
before the end of this year to sell its vaccine against a virus
that has killed about 13 percent of the U.S. hog herd.
If approved, the new drug would rival the only vaccine
available so far.
Zoetis, which was spun off from drugmaker Pfizer Inc
last year, expects to ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture for
a "conditional license" to sell its vaccine against Porcine
Epidemic Diarrhea virus, or PEDv, Chief Executive Officer Juan
Ramon Alaix told analysts during a quarterly earnings call on
The license would allow the company to sell the vaccine
directly to hog farmers while it conducts further tests.
"There will be some limitations in terms of promotional
activities, but not limitations in terms of selling the product
to the market," he said.
The fast-moving virus has killed an estimated 8 million
piglets since it was first identified in the United States last
year, pushing U.S. pork prices to record highs.
Zoetis declined to provide details on the number of pigs the
vaccine has been tested on, or on the results.
The USDA in June granted conditional approval to privately
held Harrisvaccines to sell farmers the first vaccine against
PEDv. Still, veterinarians have warned that outbreaks will
likely surge this fall and winter because the virus thrives in
The USDA declined to comment on Zoetis' plans.
(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Dan Grebler)