A “revolutionary new class of drench” is being launched by Novartis Animal Health to help ensure a sustainable future for sheep farming in the UK and Ireland.

A “revolutionary new class of drench” is being launched by Novartis Animal Health. The company claims that Amino-Acetonitrile Derivatives (AADs) will help ensure a sustainable future for sheep farming in the UK and Ireland.

ZolvixThe first truly novel anthelmintic class for livestock to be launched in more than 25 years, Zolvix (containing the new active ingredient monepantel) kills all key sheep gastro-intestinal nematodes (roundworms), including those resistant to the existing treatments.

The development of this new drench follows the persistent challenge from worms that have developed resistance to the three other classes of drench – white (benzimidazole or 1-BZ), yellow (levamisole or 2-LV) and clear (macrocyclic lactone or 3-ML) and combinations of these. According to Novartis Animal Health, Zolvix has a unique mode of action and so forms a fourth generation of anthelmintic, which will be known as the 4-AD, or orange drench class.

The company sees Zolvix as an important management tool to help farmers control the resistant worm populations on their farms, and has prioritised the UK and Ireland as key launch countries for the product.

Sheep and Zolvix gunNovartis Animal Health brand manager Simon Harris said: “Parasite resistance is a growing problem that decreases the productivity of sheep of all ages. Many veterinarians and farmers are concerned about this, with an increasing number of farmers reporting resistance to the three groups of wormers that have been available up to now, so the introduction of Zolvix is very timely.

“Because Zolvix manages worm burdens and kills nematodes (worms) resistant to other anthelmintic groups, it will improve the sustainability of other drench families and sheep production as a whole.

“While Zolvix could be a lifeline for farmers who are already facing the challenge of wormer resistance to all three of the other groups of wormer, we are recommending that all farmers should use it in conjunction with their current wormers.

“The other key time to use Zolvix is mid season in lambs, when they may have built up a burden of resistant worms following the use of other classes of wormer. As Zolvix has 99.9% efficacy against target worms, including resistant worms, its use removes this resistant worm burden, ensuring good productivity in the vital weaning and fattening period.”
Zolvix has been launched alongside an award-winning drenching system that features cutting-edge technology and offers a superior drenching experience for operators and animals.
Zolvix  backpackDeveloped in close collaboration with drenching specialists Simcro Tech Limited, the award-winning Optiline Drencher and Optivix backpack system mark a significant step forward in animal welfare, ensuring that drench is delivered as accurately and gently as possible. A large bulbous mouth guard prevents the nozzle being inserted too deeply to damage the mouth or throat and a new patented dosage lock ensures that accurate doses are consistently delivered.
The Optiline Drencher has already won several design and engineering awards, including:

  • A bronze award in the 2009 NZ BEST design awards,
  • A coveted International Forum (IF) 2010 product design award from Germany, and
  • The prestigious Bayer Innovators Award for design and engineering.

It was also a finalist in the New Zealand Agritech Innovation Awards reached the finals in three categories of the 2009 New Zealand Trade and Enterprise International Business Awards. 
The drencher is coupled with a durable, light Optivix backpack that has been specially tailored to provide left or right-handed operators with the same wide range of adjustment. It also has two drench cradles – at chest and hip level – to ensure maximum comfort.
Mr Harris said: “This drencher is best appreciated during use. Contact your local Novartis Animal health representative to arrange a trial.”

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