Media Coverage

Virbac feline leukemia vaccine recommended for EU authorization


Sep 12, 2017 - Animal Pharm

By Joseph Harvey
Animal Pharm
September 12, 2017


The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) has adopted a positive opinion for Nobivac LeuFel, which is intended for active immunization of cats from eight weeks of age against feline leukemia virus (FeLV). The vaccine prevents persistent viremia and clinical signs of the related disease.

According to the CVMP, Nobivac LeuFel contains the purified recombinant p45 FeLV-envelope antigen derived from the gp70 surface glycoprotein of the FeLV subgroup A and is expressed in Escherichia coli as active substance.

The onset of immunity of the vaccine is three weeks after the primary vaccination, while its duration of immunity is one year after the primary vaccination. The CVMP said the most common side effects are "moderate and transient local swelling, a small edema or a nodule after the first injection". These local reactions resolve spontaneously within three to four weeks and, after the second injection and subsequent administrations, this reaction is markedly reduced.

Feline leukemia is not a blood cancer but an infectious disease. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual: "Feline leukemia virus remains one of the most important infectious diseases of cats globally. It manifests primarily through profound anemia, malignancies, and immunosuppression and infects domestic cats and other species of Felidae."

There are numerous vaccines for feline leukemia commercially available. Earlier this year, Elanco completed a deal for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica's US feline, canine and rabies vaccines. This included Ultra Fel-O-Vax, a feline leukemia vaccine designed to offer a more comfortable experience with 50% less volume than most vaccines.

In Europe, Merial (now part of Boehringer) sold Purevax RCP FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. Virbac already markets Leucofeligen FeLV/RCP for cats of nine weeks or over.

In the US, Zoetis markets Leukocell 2 – a multiple viral antigen vaccine for vaccination of healthy cats nine weeks or older as an aid in preventing persistent viremia, lymphoid tumors caused by FeLV and diseases associated with FeLV infection.

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News

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