For many years, we have sought 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 around the world, are becoming increasingly mindful of their impact on the environment and human health. As a responsible company, we have naturally oriented our business accordingly.
Furthermore, we focus our research on increasingly innovative and distinguished health solutions that address a variety of diseases and production needs, based on the peculiarities of the 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 in research centers spread across all continents and which work in a network of key skills to generate greater synergies and creativity. This close proximity 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
Develop 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 our centers for the research, development and production of vaccines intended for production animals in France, Australia, Chile, Uruguay and Taiwan reflect this ambition 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 which may replace antibiotics or help reduce their use. New medicines that will help the veterinary profession advance toward its goal of changing its practices are also being developed.
Develop modern alternatives to traditional treatments
We remain very attentive to healthy ecosystems and to 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 that 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 can be substituted with an alternative solvent, it is proactively replaced by an equivalent that is more environmentally friendly.
|% of RDL biology expenditure*/total||33.0%||32.8%||31.1%|
|% of RDL expenses/Group revenue||8.1%||7.9%||7.4%|
* Vaccines, immunological products and biopharmaceutical products
In 2021, the exceptional revenue performance has a downward impact on RDL expenditure ratios, even though the absolute growth of these expenditures between 2020 and 2021 is more than 8% (excluding the impact of the research tax credit).
Virbac stakeholders (customers, veterinarians, farmers, employees, etc.) are increasingly mindful of 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 necessary nature are conducted in accordance with applicable pharmaceutical rules and regulations.
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 2021: rodents 94.8%, rabbits 4.1%, food producing animals 0.5%, domestic carnivores 0.6%.
|OUR KEY OBJECTIVES|
General management defines the strategic areas of focus regarding resources for conducting animal studies and the development of alternative methods. These areas are broken down by animal ethics corporate management in the form of policies, action plans and control processes; animal ethics corporate management is also charged with promoting and observing animal ethics and welfare within the Group and by its partners.
OUR POLICIES AND ACTION PLANS
A code of ethics and policies to regulate animal studies
The Group has developed a code of ethics relating to animal studies, which includes ten 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
In France, 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 expanded with an employee adoption procedure, 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||6,664||6,148||5,772|
|Number of animals used for quality controls||27,917||23,377||20,107|