Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ed -- At Pharmalot Has It: Zilmax®, In Lower Dose Testings, Via Texas Tech University, Since Last Summer. . .

Just an update -- but for some time now, it's been known, at least in livestock trade press circles that Merck was running large trials through Texas Tech University, to see whether robust cattle weight gains could be achieved with lower doses of zilpaterol, branded as Zilmax®. [That's a legacy Schering-Plough Animal Health product by the way.] Obviously we are now years away from a renewed widespread acceptance in the US, and "livestock/ag news" outlets are openly saying that the competitor's product has effectively won over the US market, in Zilmax's self-imposed 18 month absence. Background here. And here.

In any event, here is Pharmalot's item:

. . . .Merck is funding the testing of lower dosages of its controversial Zilmax drug for cattle growth in a move that livestock experts say is crucial if the company is to resume sales of the product to the U.S. beef industry, Reuters writes. Nearly 18 months after Merck pulled the drug from the U.S. and Canadian markets after videos and photographs showed Zilmax-fed cattle turning up in a distressed state, either lame or with hooves missing at slaughterhouses, scientists at Texas Tech University are testing beef carcasses taken from cattle fed different concentrations of Zilmax. . . .

At its peak (2012) this was only about $156 million a year in sales (far less, in profits) for Merck. So -- immaterial, overall (even at double that amount). Onward!

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