USDA gives conditional approval for Zoetis PEDv vaccine

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has given conditional approval for use of Zoetis' ($ZTS) vaccine to combat the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv, that has caused havoc in global swine herds, killing an estimated 8 million piglets in the U.S. alone since it was first reported more than a year ago.

The animal health leader's product is a two-dose vaccine licensed for use in healthy pregnant female pigs (sows and gilts) and is designed to help them develop antibodies that can be transmitted to their newborn piglets, the company said in a release. Zoetis expects the vaccine to be available to veterinarians and pig farmers this month.

"To achieve the best possible results, farmers should work closely with their veterinarians and Zoetis' technical services team to implement the new vaccine into their biosecurity programs," Gloria Basse, vice president of Zoetis' U.S. pork business unit, said in a statement.

The company said it will continue to work with Iowa State University on a second vaccine to help control PEDv.

In June, the USDA gave a conditional license to Iowa-based startup Harrisvaccines for its PEDv vaccine, marketed as iPED. That vaccine sold nearly 2 million doses within weeks of becoming available. Still, global demand continues to grow for products that can test for, prevent or treat the condition.

Another company, VMRD, has developed a diagnostic tool that can be used to detect an antibody to PEDv. VMRD announced in June it was marketing substrate slides that can be used for screening and surveillance of the virus.

- see the release