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Dieter Luetticken Award 2008 Recognizes Development of New Vaccine Quality Control Assay
Date:4/7/2009

BOXMEER, Netherlands, April 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health today announces that the Dieter Luetticken Award 2008 for alternatives in animal testing goes to Dr. Ivo Claassen for a project that he has managed at the Central Veterinary Institute (CVI), Lelystad (the Netherlands). The announcement was made by Prof. Coenraad Hendriksen, chairperson of an independent expert jury panel and Professor of Alternatives to Animal Testing at Utrecht University (the Netherlands).

Dr. Claassen had a leading role in an interdisciplinary team with Dr. Riks Maas and Dr. Hok Oei from the CVI in close collaboration with Dr. Jean Marc Spieser and Dr. Catherine Milne of the European Directorate on Quality of Medicines (EDQM), Strasbourg (France). The team developed an in vitro potency test for the routine quality control of inactivated Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) vaccines. Previously, quality control of NDV vaccines included an in vivo potency assay in chickens. The new method allows avoiding the use of chickens and has now been included in the respective European Pharmacopoeia monograph as an additional potency assay to release NDV vaccines. The research project was largely funded by the Department of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in the Netherlands.

"The new in vitro potency test is an attractive alternative for the existing in vivo potency tests especially with regard to the objective of the European regulatory authorities to replace, reduce and refine (3R) the use of laboratory animals for production and quality control of immuno-biologicals," said jury chair Prof. Hendriksen.

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, a leading global animal health company, sponsors the international Dieter Luetticken Award for alternatives in animal testing to support individual scientists and life science research institutions that make significant contributions to the 3R-concept, i.e. reducing, refining and/or replacing the use of animals in testing for development and manufacturing of veterinary medicines. The Company recently became a member of EPAA, the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing.

The total amount of the award is euro 20,000 and will be presented to Dr. Claassen on September 3, 2009 during the award session at the 7th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences which will take place in Rome (Italy) from August 30 to September 3, 2009.

Candidates for the Dieter Luetticken Award are selected by a jury panel composed of experts from public institutions in the animal health and animal testing sector. Applications for the Dieter Luetticken Award 2009 can be submitted until November 15, 2009. For submissions and more details, please contact Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health - Global Communications Animal Health (communications@intervet.com).

About the Dieter Luetticken Award

The Dieter Luetticken Award for alternatives in animal testing was established in 2004 and is granted each year to academic scientists or not-for-profit life sciences research institutions that have made a significant contribution to the 3R-concept for the R&D and production of veterinary medicines. The international award's scope covers in vitro models used in R&D which replace animal testing for licensing purposes, methods that improve quality of life of laboratory animals as well as studies aimed at reducing or avoiding the use of animals in efficacy, safety and quality testing in the production of biologicals and pharmaceuticals for animals.

The award is named after Dr. Dieter Luetticken, a committed researcher in microbiology and virology. He has guided and shaped R&D at former Intervet for more than a quarter of a century. Dr. Luetticken retired from Intervet in 2003 as Vice-President and Head of R&D.

Previous winners of the Dieter Luetticken Award are: Prof. Andrew Hemphill, Switzerland (2004), Dr. Mark Stevens, United Kingdom (2006) and Prof. George Gettinby, United Kingdom (2007).

About Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health

Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health is focused on the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of animal health products. The company offers customers one of the broadest, most innovative Animal Health portfolios, spanning products to support performance and to prevent, treat and control disease in all major farm and companion animal species. The company is based in Boxmeer, The Netherlands. For more information about Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health visit: www.intervet.com

Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription, animal health and consumer health care products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is http://www.schering-plough.com/


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