Bioniche Responds to Australian Equine Influenza Outbreak
- Equimune(R) IV product a proven treatment -
BELLEVILLE, ON, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has increased its supply of Equimune(R)IV to Australia in order to be able to respond to anticipated increased demand as a result of that continent's equine influenza outbreak. The outbreak began in August, and according to one media report, a total of 3,376 horses on 405 properties are now suspected of having the virus.
"Bioniche wants to ensure that sufficient supply of Equimune IV is available to Australian veterinarians," said Jim Phillips, President of Bioniche Animal Health (global). "At the same time, we are ensuring that veterinarians have the information they require about our proprietary immunotherapy product and its efficacy in the treatment of equine influenza."
Equine influenza is a viral respiratory infection that causes flu like symptoms in horses and is from the group of viruses that causes flu in humans. Most horses exposed to the virus will show signs within a period of 1-5 days. Most viruses that are responsible for coughs and colds in horses result in mild symptoms, such as nasal discharge and coughing. Equine Influenza produces more severe symptoms, with horses developing a fever and a dry hacking cough. Horses become ill and are reluctant to eat or drink for several days, but usually recover in 2 to 3 weeks. The virus can be spread easily from horse to horse as a result of droplets and also from nasal discharge and from things like infected brushes and rugs. The disease is very contagious and there can be an almost 100% infection rate in a population that has been previously unexposed to the virus.
Australia and New Zealand are the only countries with significant equine industries that have been previously free from equine influenza. Horses in Australia are not vaccinated. This outbreak of equine influenza is expected to have a major impact on the multibillion-dollar equine stud and racing industries. Quarantine programs have been developed for the safe movement of horses internationally for breeding, racing, and other purposes. Increased international movement of horses for breeding and competition purpose constitutes an important factor in the spread of equine influenza throughout the world.
"Equimune IV has been an excellent tool used in our practice both to treat viral respiratory infections and as a preventative aid used in the face of an outbreak," said Dr. Richard C. Mather II, DVM of the Woodland Run Equine Clinic in Grove City, Ohio. "For best results, we advise that horses not be stressed for 24 hours following treatment with Equimune IV."