Flu-Avert Patented; Bound For Canada

Heska received a patent for its equine intranasal influenza vaccine, Flu Avert I.N., on March 15, 2001. The unique vaccine is administered in one dose using a nasal applicator.

The modified live vaccine was introduced in November of 1999, and has since been proven safe and efficacious in protecting horses from common strains of influenza. Patricia W. Dowling, PhD and Julius S. Youngner, ScD, of the University of Pittsburgh are listed as the inventors of U.S. Patent Number 6,177,082 B1. Heska obtained exclusive licensing on the technology in 1995, developed manufacturing protocols, and obtained U.S. regulatory approval for the product in November 1999.

On March 19, Heska entered into a distribution agreement with Novartis Animal Health Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of Novartis AG of Switzerland. This agreement grants Novartis exclusive distribution rights of the Flu Avert I.N. vaccine in Canada. The vaccine should be introduced in Canada in mid-2001 following final regulatory approval.

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