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Virbac Corporation Obtains FDA Approval for Equimax Paste.

Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers

FORT WORTH, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 22, 2003

Virbac Corporation (NASDAQ, NM: VBAC)

Virbac Strengthens Product Line in $97 Million U.S. Equine

Anthelmintic/Dewormer Market

Pfizer Animal Health Will Distribute New Product

Virbac Corporation (NASDAQ, NM: VBAC), a leading companion animal health company, announced today that it received FDA approval for Equimax(TM) Paste, an equine anthelmintic product. Equimax Paste combines ivermectin and praziquantel, which provides for a broader spectrum of activity than conventional dewormers for horses. This competitive advantage will be leveraged while competing in the $97 million U.S. equine anthelmintic market.

"Patent-protected Equimax Paste expands the spectrum of treatable infestations from Equell(TM) Paste, our first equine anthelmintic product launched in 2002, and will be positioned as the cornerstone product in any equine anthelmintic program," said Thomas L. Bell, president and chief executive officer of Virbac Corporation. "It is a significant step forward in the treatment of equine parasites, because it is effective against all major nematodes (including many immature stages), tapeworms, as well as oral and gastric stages of bots. Like Equell Paste, Equimax Paste is an oral paste that is administered by a novel syringe for easy, simple and accurate dosing of the animal. In addition, the product has been formulated with a green apple flavor to enhance palatability."

Virbac was granted a U.S. patent in October 1998 for the combination product. Equimax Paste, which is manufactured at Virbac Corporation's plant in St. Louis, MO, will be distributed by Pfizer Animal Health, a division of Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE), through its dedicated Equine Business Division. Pfizer and Virbac entered into a 15-year licensing agreement in 2000 covering both the Equell and Equimax products, and Pfizer began distributing Equell Paste last fall. Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Virbac received cash payments upon execution of the agreement and FDA approval of the Equell Paste and will receive an additional payment based upon the recent FDA action. In addition, Virbac Corporation will receive royalties for both products throughout the term of the license agreement.

Equimax Paste was developed by the Virbac worldwide research team and under the research and development agreement between the European and American entities, Virbac Corporation's R&D team was able to bring the product to market quickly and in a cost efficient manner. Bell said, "Our R&D agreement with Virbac S.A., our majority shareholder and developer of both Equimax Paste and Equell Paste, proves to be an excellent growth platform for Virbac Corporation. Equimax Paste was first launched in Australia in late 1996 and now commands a market share in excess of 40%. Most recently, the product has been launched in the U.K. and Germany and within the first 12 months has already achieved a market share in excess of 30%. We are confident the product will be a success in the United States due to both the product's technical merits and its distribution by Pfizer, a very strong marketer in animal health."

"Equimax provides an important new solution to the threat posed by equine tapeworms," said Dr. Robert Dressler, equine veterinarian at Pfizer Animal Health. "As veterinary science has revealed critical information about the serious damage tapeworms do inside the horse, as well as the significant tapeworm exposure rates across the U.S., it has become very apparent that we need to do much more to care for horses. Equimax provides just that."

EQUINE WORMS COMMON

The damage from tapeworms has devastating results. Tapeworms are a leading cause of colic in horses. Researchers found that 22% of spasmodic (gas) colics were associated with tapeworms, along with 81% of ileal impactions. Ileocecal intussusception--a potentially fatal colic condition--is almost always caused by tapeworm infection. Recent studies by the University of Kentucky suggested that more than 50% of the Thoroughbreds in the state suffer from the most common equine tapeworm, Anoplocephala perfoliata. Additional new research finds that an average of 54% of horses in the United States have been exposed to the parasite. The study provides an exposure range of 12.7% of horses on the Pacific coast to a staggering 95.8% of horses in the upper Midwest.

Virbac Corporation, located in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leading companion animal health company with product leaders in the pharmaceutical, dermatological, and oral hygiene markets for pets and companion animals. Virbac provides a broad array of health care products to its customers under the brand names C.E.T.(R), ALLERDERM(R), IVERHART(TM) PLUS, Preventic(R) Plus, Pet-Tabs(R), St. JON(R), Mardel(R), Zema(R) and Francodex(R). For more information on Virbac Corporation, please visit www.virbaccorp.com, or contact the company at 1-800-338-3659.

Pfizer Inc. discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world's best-known consumer products.

This press release contains forward-looking information made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements may be affected by certain risks and uncertainties described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements regarding earnings per share depend in large part on the company's and its strategic partners' ability to launch new products effectively and customer acceptance of those products. The Company's actual results could differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Management believes that these amounts are fairly stated, but audited results could differ from these unaudited results and the effect may be material.

Pet-Tabs is a registered trademark of Pfizer.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 22, 2003
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