In a rapidly changing environment, we owe it to ourselves to provide an innovative and safe range of products and services, developed and produced with respect for animal welfare. Our customers, veterinarians, farmers and animal owners are becoming increasingly mindful of their impact on the environment and human health. We are, therefore, naturally driven to adapt our activities accordingly.
Thus we focus our research over the long term and offer innovative solutions that address a variety of diseases and production needs, depending on the peculiarities of individual geographic areas in which they appear. Every day, we are committed to the best way to achieve this, while remaining faithful to the quality requirements of health.
The field of the veterinary pharmaceutical industry is highly competitive, and every year, in order to meet market changes and needs, maintain our market share and ensure our development, we devote significant resources to research and development. We place particular importance on the search for continuous improvement in the innovative solutions proposed and in the way they are developed.
|OUR KEY OBJECTIVES|
Our organization in charge of innovation is structured into research centers divided by species and by region of the globe. This closeness with our customers and their needs in the different global markets allows us to have a range of relevant and adapted products and services.
OUR POLICIES AND ACTION PLANS
Developing alternatives to antibiotics
The development of prevention, particularly by vaccination, is one of the ways to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production. Our recent investments in research and production centers for vaccines intended for production animals in France, Australia, Chile, Uruguay and Taiwan reflect this willingness to strengthen the Group’s development in this area. We have also engaged several partnership programs with public research institutes and private companies to advance together in the development of innovative products (immunostimulants, micronutrition, biocides), some of whom may replace antibiotics or promote the reduction of their use.
Developing modern alternatives to traditional treatments
Mindful of ecosystem balance and environmental protection, our goal is to develop alternatives to certain traditional therapies. As part of our responsible innovation process, we have taken a new step forward thanks to the discovery of a new treatment which represents a real alternative to surgical castration in dogs, through hormonal regulation that neutralizes the reproductive capacity of the animal for six months or a year. The animal’s well-being is preserved here, any irreversible surgical procedure is currently unnecessary, in the interests of the animal and its owner.
For the development of new products, all Virbac R&D sites worldwide in charge of analyses now use more efficient chromatography and extraction technologies. This approach helps reduce:
The same approach is used with the same benefits throughout the product life cycle, including during regulatory updates of existing products. Beyond the methodologies, whenever a toxic solvent is substituted by an alternative solvent, it is proactively replaced by an equivalent that is more environmentally friendly.
|% of RDL biology expenditure*/total||40.6%||33.0%||32.8%|
|% of RDL expenses/Group revenue||8.4%||8.1%||7.9%|
* Vaccines, immunological products and biopharmaceutical products
Virbac stakeholders (customers, veterinarians, farmers , employees, etc.) are increasingly concerned about the impact of our products on the entire value chain. This is why we conduct our innovation approach and our operations in a strong ethical framework, promoting as much as possible in vitro testing and associating our various partners and stakeholders: suppliers, supervisory authorities, professional associations, etc.
STUDIES ON ANIMALS
For the evaluation of our products in development or before marketing, our first approach is always to use methods that do not involve animals: bibliographical research, in vitro studies, computer modeling, etc. In some cases, when no recognized or adapted alternative method is possible, then animal studies of a necessity are conducted in accordance with the applicable pharmaceutical rules.
These animal studies deal with
Preclinical and clinical studies
In the Group’s animal units, the different categories of animals were distributed as follows in 2020: rodents 96.5%, rabbits 3.1%, food producing animals 0.3%, domestic carnivores 0.07%.
|OUR KEY OBJECTIVES|
The Innovation department defines the strategic axes in terms of resources for conducting animal studies and the development of alternative methods. These areas are broken down by the animal ethics corporate management in the form of policies, action plans and control processes; this department is also in charge of promoting and respecting animal ethics and welfare within the Group and its partners.
OUR POLICIES AND ACTION PLANS
An ethical charter and policies to manage animal studies
The Group has developed an ethical charter relating to animal studies, which is available in 10 points and applies to all employees of the Group and its subcontractors. Furthermore, the Group has two policies governing animal studies: Animal ethics committee and Animal welfare.
Key actions implemented
The post-study animal adoption program, implemented in 2013, in collaboration with the main French association dedicated to the adoption of laboratory animals, has also been extended and helps maintain our goal of guaranteeing a foster family for 100% of adoptable dogs and cats.
|Number of animals used for R&D studies||5,773||6,664||6,148|
|Number of animals used for quality controls||36,361||27,917||23,377|