Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (NYSE:MRK), and Virbac (NYSE Euronext:VIRP) today announced that the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Merck Animal Health would acquire the U.S. rights to SENTINEL® FLAVOR TABS® and SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® Chews in the Companion Animal category. Merck Animal Health will make a cash payment of approximately $400 million to acquire the SENTINEL branded products in the United States at closing of the acquisition.
Comprehensive parasite protection is an essential part of canine overall health and well-being. The BRAVECTO® product line, which are our extended duration flea and tick protection products, and the SENTINEL branded products, which control all common intestinal parasites, provide an attractive opportunity for broad-spectrum, year-round comprehensive internal and external parasite protection for dogs. These complementary products will cover the seven common, harmful parasites that affect dogs inside and out by preventing ticks and multiple stages of the flea lifecycle, including eggs and adult fleas, as well as treating and controlling all common intestinal parasites, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms and preventing heartworm disease.
“Veterinary medicines, including parasiticides, and vaccines have transformed the health of animals over the past decade,” said Rick DeLuca, president, Merck Animal Health. “This product acquisition reinforces Merck Animal Health’s commitment to our customers and our position in the United States Companion Animal category. We plan to use the extensive breadth and depth of our product portfolio, which includes BRAVECTO, a range of Companion Animal vaccines and the Sure Petcare portfolio of digital products, along with the SENTINEL branded products, to enhance our offerings of comprehensive pet care solutions. These products will provide a full range of complementary solutions for our customers to improve the health and well-being of animals and the people who care for them.”
Scott Bormann, senior vice president, North America Commercial Operations, Merck Animal Health, said, “Our unconditional commitment to the veterinary community is steadfast as we offer a broad range of products and services to our customers. With this product acquisition, we expect to provide veterinarians with the most comprehensive and continuous parasite protection for dogs in easy to administer, palatable formulations. These products will target different parts of the flea lifecycle and will offer broad-spectrum, internal parasite protection in the SENTINEL brand and the extended duration flea and tick protection of BRAVECTO.”
François Fournier, president and chief executive officer, Virbac United States, said, “These brands are well-known and trusted parasiticide products that should continue to provide value to both veterinary clinics and pet owners in the United States for years to come. We believe that Merck Animal Health is the right company, ideally positioned to keep developing these products in a sustainable manner.”
The closing of the transaction is subject to antitrust clearance and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close by mid-year 2020.
About BRAVECTO® (fluralaner)
Since its introduction in 2014, BRAVECTO has provided longer-lasting flea and tick protection with more than 125 million doses distributed in 85 countries. BRAVECTO is available in a variety of formulations, including products for both dogs and cats.
The flea lifecycle can last as long as 12 weeks, and monthly treatments may leave gaps in protection. One treatment with BRAVECTO lasts 12 weeks, protects almost three times longer than monthly treatments and is proven to kill fleas on dogs and cats and to eliminate them from the home.i BRAVECTO products are only available through licensed veterinarians.
BRAVECTO is for dogs and cats 6 months of age or older. BRAVECTO Chews and BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Dogs are safe for pregnant, breeding and lactating dogs. Use with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or neurologic disorders. BRAVECTO Chews for Dogs: Side effects may include vomiting, decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst and flatulence. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Dogs: Side effects may include vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea, lethargy, decreased appetite, and moist dermatitis/rash. BRAVECTO Topical Solution for Cats: Side effects may include vomiting, itching, diarrhea, hair loss, decreased appetite, lethargy, and scabs/ulcerated lesions. Use with caution in cats with a history of neurologic disorders. BRAVECTO PLUS for Cats is for cats 6 months of age or older. Side effects may include vomiting, hair loss, itching, diarrhea, lethargy, dry skin, elevated ALT, and hypersalivation. Use with caution in cats with a history of neurologic disorders. Use with caution in cats that are heartworm positive.
About Sure Petcare
Sure Petcare, the pet technology specialist, provides pet products that empower owners to care for their pets in entirely new ways. Founded in 2007, we have developed an award-winning range of microchip-operated pet doors and feeders, which solve many problems commonly experienced by pet owners. Sure Petcare, along with HomeAgain, is a Companion Animal portfolio of digital products within Merck Animal Health. For more information, visit www.surepetcare.com.
About Merck Animal Health
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of digitally connected identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter at @MerckAH.
Virbac offers veterinarians, farmers and pet owners in more than 100 countries a practical range of products and services for diagnosing, preventing and treating the majority of diseases while improving quality of life for animals. With these innovative solutions covering more than 50 species, Virbac contributes day after day to shaping the future of animal health.
Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the recent global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).
i Williams et al. Fluralaner, a novel isoxazoline, prevents flea (Ctenocephalides felis) reproduction in vitro and in a simulated home environment. Parasites & Vectors (2014) 7:275.