Animal Health deal links makers of poultry vaccines

DELAWARE - A multibillion dollar international sale last week will make the small town of Millsboro an important base for what may be the largest animal health vaccine manufacturer in the world.
calendar icon 19 March 2007
clock icon 3 minute read
Intervet, bought last week by Schering-Plough, employs 400 people at its campus in Millsboro, where it makes vaccines for poultry, fish, dogs and cats. Schering-Plough has a plant in Millsboro that makes poultry vaccines.

Millsboro is the U.S. headquarters for Intervet, a global animal vaccine company, and a Schering-Plough plant that makes vaccines for poultry. Last week, Netherlands-based Akzo Nobel NV, the parent company of Intervet, sold its animal health and pharmaceuticals division to Schering-Plough Corp. as part of a $14.4 billion sale.

The deal, which will be finalized later this year pending regulatory approval, means both vaccine makers are owned by pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough.

Intervet employs 400 people in Millsboro, where its research lab manufactures vaccines for poultry, fish, dogs and cats. Schering-Plough's plant employs 60 people who produce poultry vaccines.

Long before last week's deal, the two companies already had strong ties in Delaware.

The Millsboro companies were founded by world-renowned poultry scientist Hiram Lasher, who has for years been working closely with the state's $844 million poultry industry.

"This was somewhat of a shock to me," said Lasher, 87, who owns Lasher Associates in Millsboro, a poultry vaccine consulting firm, referring to the $14.4 billion deal.

Millsboro's location in Sussex County -- the county with the highest concentration of chickens in the United States -- makes it an attractive place for companies that cater to the needs of Delaware's poultry industry.

"The companies and how they have supported poultry research and the industry is very important," said Dr. Robin Morgan, dean of the University of Delaware's College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "Over the years, there have been many cases that we have worked with them to develop vaccines and test vaccines."

The acquisition is expected to transform Schering-Plough into one the world's largest makers of animal vaccines, boosting its capacity to research, manufacture and sell drugs worldwide.

Source: delawareonline

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