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Horse lameness treatment nears Canadian launch

Adequan Equine, a drug to treat joint problems and lameness in horses, will see its first launch outside the U.S. next month, in Canada.

The launch follows a distribution agreement announced Wednesday, in which the drug will be marketed in Canada and other major non-U.S. markets by Novartis Animal Health.

Novartis has held a similar arrangement in other markets with the drug’s manufacturer, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, a U.S. company owned by Tokyo-based drug firm Daiichi Sankyo. Novartis since 2003 has marketed Luitpold’s Adequan Canine for dogs in the U.S.

The two companies’ new agreement gives Novartis the marketing rights to Adequan Equine in Europe, Asia and Latin America as well as Canada, plus the rights to sell Adequan Canine in Canada. Luitpold, however, will continue to market the horse product in the U.S.

In both horses and dogs, Adequan is indicated for treating joint dysfunction and lameness in horses caused by injury or degenerative problems, and is available for intra-articular (that is, within the joint) and intramuscular administration.

“One of our longer-term priorities is to establish a good line of products for the equine market,” Folkert Kamphuis, Novartis’ chief operating officer, said in a release Wednesday. “Adequan Equine represents a great start in that direction.”

Swiss-based Novartis’ sales staff have already successfully sold Adequan Canine in the U.S. for over five years “by placing an emphasis on the brand’s unique advantages,” Kamphuis said. “We very much look forward to the same kind of success with Adequan in our work with equine veterinarians.”

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