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AGVAX moves to assure long term supplies

AGVAX moves to assure long term supplies of key vaccine for sheep farmers

Recent decisions to shift the manufacture of a key vaccine from Wallaceville to Timaru means sheep farmers around New Zealand will receive reliable supplies and the production of the vaccine is “future-proofed”, says AgVax Developments Ltd CEO Dr Andrew MacPherson.

The Upper Hutt Company has announced that manufacture of its Toxovax® anti-toxoplasmosis product will be shifted to Timaru from May 2005.

In announcing the decision Dr MacPherson, says the company has carefully evaluated the options open to it for continuing production. “We were faced with major investment in improved facilities at Wallaceville if we were to continue to meet the very stringent good manufacturing practice compliance requirements imposed by regulators of animal vaccines.”

“That investment would have imposed a significant financial burden on the company and reduced our ability to develop new products and market our existing products.

“While we have been a manufacturer in the past our developing expertise has been in new product development, commercialisation and marketing of animal health products.

“Therefore we have taken the opportunity to outsource production of the vaccine to Timaru where a new purpose-built manufacturing plant which complies with the regulators requirements from the floor up is about to be constructed.

“This is a win-win situation all round. We future proof the manufacture of this very important vaccine for New Zealand sheep farmers, we ensure the Timaru facility has sufficient production demand to assure its future and we release AgVax funds for investment in new products and marketing – the parts of the value chain we have developed real expertise in.

“AgVax will focus on commercialisation of animal health products and services using its Serious Solutions strategy with the help of AgResearch. The impacts on Wallaceville staff are being considered and AgVax is committed to working through an appropriate process to deal with the concerns of affected staff,” concluded Dr MacPherson.

Some facts about Toxovax® vaccine and Toxoplasmosis

Toxovax® is a specific vaccine designed to combat toxoplasmosis in sheep. Toxoplasmosis results in loss of lambs through spontaneous abortion. Humans catch toxoplasmosis from contact with animals, particularly sheep – it is estimated 60% of new Zealanders have become infected at some stage by the time they are 40. Generally toxoplasmosis does not result in severe illness for an adult, but it is a serious threat to the unborn child if the mother becomes infected for the first time while she is pregnant.

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