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MERIAL Receives Full License Approval for ONCEPT(TM) Canine Melanoma Vaccine
Date:2/16/2010

DULUTH, Ga., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Merial, a world-leading animal health company, has gained full-licensure from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for ONCEPT™ Canine Melanoma Vaccine, DNA.  ONCEPT is a breakthrough vaccine indicated for aiding in extending survival of dogs with stage II or stage III oral canine melanoma, a common yet deadly form of cancer in dogs.

ONCEPT is the first and only USDA-approved, therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of cancer – in either animals or humans.

Traditionally, dogs with stage II or stage III malignant melanoma survive less than five to six months when treated with surgery alone.(1) Clinical studies of ONCEPT demonstrated significantly longer life spans even in dogs with stage II or stage III of oral melanoma.  In fact, median survival time of dogs treated with ONCEPT could not be determined because more than 50 percent of the treated dogs were still living melanoma-free at the conclusion of the study or died of unrelated illness.(2)

Canine oral melanoma is a common type of cancer in dogs and is the most common malignant tumor of the dog's mouth. It can also be seen in the nail and footpad.(3) Canine melanoma may be seen in any breed and is a highly aggressive cancer that frequently spreads throughout the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, lungs and kidneys.(4) To date, the most common treatments for this form of cancer have been radiation and surgery to establish local tumor control. Canine oral melanoma, however, has a high propensity to metastasize to other parts of the body and is often resistant to chemotherapy.(2,3)

"Canine melanoma spreads readily, and, unfortunately, existing treatments have not succeeded in controlling the disease," said Dr. Bob Menardi, a veterinarian and spokesperson for Merial. "ONCEPT is a new adjunct
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SOURCE Merial
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