Merck Animal Health Launches Next Live Poultry Vaccine in the US for Highly Infectious and Untreated Diseases

INNOVAX® ND-ILT Provides Single Injection Protection Against Newcastle Disease, Infectious Laryngotracheitis and Marek’s Disease

Madison, NJ, USA, March 18, 2019 – Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co, today announced the launch of INNOVAX® ND-ILT, made with biotechnology that protects against three highly infectious diseases in poultry – Newcastle disease (ND), infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) and Marek’s disease (MD) when given to chickens either in ovo or subcutaneously at the hatchery.

INNOVAX® ND-ILT is the second of the company’s dual HVT constructs to be approved, following the release of INNOVAX® ND-IBD launched last November. The vaccine marks the first vaccine available in the United States shown to be effective against these three highly contagious infections with a single vaccination. These diseases can affect a range of systems in domestic poultry, including the nervous, respiratory, immune and reproductive systems. 1, 2, 3

“Along with the convenience of a single immunization, Innovax®ND-ILT eliminates the risks of viral latency, persistence and dissemination associated with the use of conventional live vaccines,” says Ivan Alvarado, DVM, Merck Animal Health. “By controlling Newcastle disease and infectious laryngotracheitis, Innovax® ND-ILT allows the administration of monovalent IBV vaccines, avoiding competition between respiratory viruses while improving protection against IB in the field. As a recombinant HVT vaccine, Innovax® ND-ILT does not induce post-vaccinal reactions, reversion to virulence or interference with other respiratory vaccines.”


Innovax® ND-ILT is a frozen, cell associated, live virus vaccine that contains the serotype 3 herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) with the F gene from Newcastle disease (ND) virus and two genes from infectious laryngotracheitisvirus (ILT). The vaccine is frozen and packaged in glass ampules, supplied with diluent packaged in a separate container. The vaccine ampules are inserted in metal canes, stored and shipped in a liquid nitrogen container. Together with Merck Animal Health’s line of respiratory vaccines, the INNOVAX® family provides the most complete selection of vaccines to be applied in the hatchery.

About Merck Animal Health

For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.

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This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

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1 Newcastle disease in poultry. Merck Veterinary Manual. Retrieved from

2 Overview of infectious bursal disease in poultry. Merck Veterinary Manual. Retrieved from

3 Marek’s disease. The Poultry Site. Retrieved from