Merial, a leader in the animal health care industry, announced it completed its acquisition of LEGEND® (hyaluronate sodium) and MARQUIS® (15% w/w ponazuril) from Bayer HealthCare. Merial had announced the agreement with Bayer on Dec. 17. The addition of these two products to the Merial portfolio solidifies the company’s position as a leader in performance horse health care.
“We are committed to providing horse owners with proven, safe and effective products, ensuring optimal horse health, which ultimately lays the groundwork for peak performance,” says Steve Mahoney, head of U.S. large animal, Merial. “LEGEND and MARQUIS both have long histories of success and enhance our existing product offerings to all horse owners, whether they trail ride, compete locally or have stood in the winner’s circle on the national stage.”
LEGEND is the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved joint therapy product labeled for both intra-articular and intravenous injection. It is indicated in the treatment of joint dysfunction of the carpus or fetlock in horses due to non-infectious synovitis associated with equine osteoarthritis. Joint therapy is used to block the further release of inflammatory mediators. By decreasing the production and release of these mediators, LEGEND helps reduce joint inflammation and the resulting pain and lameness.
“As a major cause of decreased performance in horses, joint dysfunction can develop from repeated episodes of trauma a horse experiences in everyday use, training or competing,” said Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, manager, large animal veterinary services, Merial. “In addition to the horse itself, individual horse owners also feel the negative effects of lost performance.”
LEGEND has a proven track record, with millions of doses sold and more than 20 years of treatment success. In field studies, clinical improvement was judged to be excellent or good in 90 percent of the cases treated with I.V. LEGEND and in 96 percent of the cases treated with I.A. LEGEND.
Another premier equine product, MARQUIS, is the first FDA-approved product for the treatment of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). EPM is a neurological disease caused by Sarcocystis neurona, a parasite that invades the brain and spinal cord. If left untreated, it can lead to serious, permanent damage to the central nervous system or death.
Horses become infected with EPM via contact with opossum feces through grazing or contaminated feed. The clinical signs can be subtle and similar to other equine disorders, so it can be difficult to detect. When used as directed, MARQUIS is proven to cross the blood-brain barrier to kill S. neurona, stopping the parasite from inflicting further damage to the horse’s central nervous system.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,100 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with over $2 billion of sales in 2014. For more information, visit .