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New data from 10-year global flea monitoring program confirms imidacloprid remains highly effective

Bayer Animal Heath announced today at the 22nd World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP), Calgary, Canada the latest results of a large-scale, international, independent Flea Susceptibility Monitoring (FSM) program, demonstrating that imidacloprid remains highly effective for the control of fleas in companion animals.

The data show that fleas collected from around the globe continue to be as highly susceptible to imidacloprid today as they were when the monitoring commenced. In 2009, the FSM program celebrates its 10th year.

Since 2001, when the diagnostic dose was established enabling field monitoring to begin, 1356 samples have been submitted, 1014 samples have been analyzed and 13 flea isolates identified for more detailed laboratory investigation. After additional testing none of those isolates were considered to have reduced susceptibility.

The ongoing monitoring through the innovative FSM program confirms that veterinarians and pet owners can continue to trust in imidacloprid, the active ingredient in Bayer Animal Health's Advantage® Topical Solution and K9 Advantix®.

The Bayer Animal Health-funded FSM program is the first and only initiative of its kind in the field of companion animal parasites and includes a group of internationally renowned, independent researchers who work together with Bayer Animal Health to continuously monitor the susceptibility of fleas to imidacloprid. Under the international program, data is collected from the United States, Germany, France and the UK. In the US alone, there are over 100 clinics across 23 states involved in the collection of field isolates which are then sent to independent laboratories in California and Alabama for testing.

"The inception in 1999 of the global monitoring program for susceptibility of fleas to imidacloprid was a significant milestone in resistance surveillance and risk assessment. That this program has now reached its tenth anniversary testifies to the strength and motivation of the international team conducting the research, and the commitment of Bayer to ensure that its products continue to provide proven, efficient, reliable flea control", said Dr. Michael Rust, Professor of Entomology, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of California, Riverside.

The methodology utilized by the FSM follows a three-step approach. Flea egg samples are collected by participating veterinarians from infested animals and sent to the monitoring laboratories for testing. Twenty eggs are reared on media containing 3 ppm imidacloprid (the diagnostic dose) and 20 in media without imidacloprid (controls). Adult emergence is measured and if >5%, that population of fleas is maintained to allow further laboratory evaluation of susceptibility. The third evaluation step is to investigate the susceptibility of the flea population when placed on dogs and treated with Advantage®. To date, no isolates have survived the second stage of the testing process, proving the long-standing efficacy of imidacloprid in killing fleas.

"Ten years after the initiation of the Flea Susceptibility Monitoring program, our efforts remain a unique and important strategy for assessing the continuing efficacy of imidacloprid against fleas. Monitoring the performance of current agents like imidacloprid is necessary to help maintain a longer, viable product life for these products", said Dr. Bryon Blagburn, Distinguished University Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, USA.

"Bayer Animal Health is committed to remaining at the forefront of understanding parasitology and its related diseases, and, in this way, providing effective treatments that continue to ensure optimal animal health," said Sarah Weston, Global Veterinary Services Manager, Bayer Animal Health.

About the Flea Susceptibility Monitoring program

The FSM is a large-scale international program based on a monitoring methodology which utilizes flea eggs collected from the field in the US, Germany, UK and France (Australia will be included from this year). Egg collection is carried out by a network of veterinarians and the samples analyzed in four investigating laboratories based in three countries. The FSM has run for 10 years and, to date, has not detected any reduced susceptibility to imidacloprid. A dedicated team of 15 people including independent experts in veterinary parasitology, entomology and molecular biology in addition to Bayer staff work together to manage the FSM program.

About Bayer HealthCare

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world's leading innovative companies in the health care and medical products industry. The company combines the activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The company's pharmaceuticals business operates under the name Bayer Schering Pharma AG. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide.

With sales of EUR 956 million (2007), the Animal Health Division is one of the world's leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs. The division produces and markets more than 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for livestock and companion animals.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in our annual and interim reports to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and in our reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (including our Form 20-F). The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to confirm them to future events or developments.

Bayer, the Bayer Cross, K9 Advantix and Advantage are registered trademarks of Bayer.

Press Contact:

Bayer Animal Health
Bob Walker
Director Communications and Public Policy
Phone: 913-268-2577

Bob Walker | EurekAlert!
Further information:

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