Ceva builds on vaccine expertise with Biovac buy

Ceva acquired Biovac to boost its capabilities in producing custom animal vaccines.

At the recent American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting in New Orleans, Ceva Animal Health’s North America chief Gary Robertson vowed the company would take a more responsive approach to fulfilling customer needs. That will include improving its ability to respond to emerging diseases with customized, rapidly produced vaccines, he said.

Now Ceva’s parent company, France’s Ceva Santé Animale, has made a major move toward making that vision a reality. On June 2, the company announced it acquired Biovac Laboratories, a French maker of bacterial, or “autogeneous” vaccines and allergy treatments, for an undisclosed sum. Biovac has specialized capabilities in microbiology that allow it to make custom vaccines for customers, according to a press release from Ceva.

“As a veterinarian, I know how disappointing it can be to make a diagnosis and then not have the precise tool necessary to control the disease,” said Ceva CEO Marc Prikazsky in the release. “Through this partnership, we will share all our expertise in vaccine production and new technologies, so that together we can provide veterinarians in new markets with an even better service.”

Ceva has been building its presence in vaccines, particularly in the poultry market, which helped boost the company’s 2015 revenues by 12% to €857 million ($939 million). Last October, the USDA appointed Ceva and Merck ($MRK) to manufacture a vaccine for an emergency stockpile, in case the highly pathogenic form of avian flu, H5N2, returns to the U.S.

Autogenous vaccines are produced after an emerging bug is diagnosed and identified, according to Ceva. When there is no standard vaccine that will fight the illness, a custom vaccine can be produced in four to 5 weeks. Providing that capability is in line with Ceva’s goal of putting the veterinarian at the forefront of the fight against microbial diseases, the company says.

- here’s the press release

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