Merial, now part of Boehringer Ingelheim, received approval from the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand the label claims for NexGard (afoxolaner), the chewable flea and tick product for dogs. The product is now approved to prevent Borrelia burgdorferi infections by killing Ixodes scapularis ticks (commonly referred to as black-legged ticks or deer ticks), vectors that transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
NexGard is the first, and only, flea and tick product to receive FDA approval for preventing infections that cause Lyme disease by killing the vector ticks, according to the company.
“When NexGard, an easy-to-give, beef-flavored chew, was launched in 2013, it was the first oral flea and tick control product and the first of the isoxazoline class of parasiticides,” said Zach Mills, DVM, Head of US Pet Veterinary Professional Services. “As Boehringer Ingelheim continues to make advancements in veterinary medicine with a focus on prevention, having the first flea and tick product approved to prevent the transmission of the organism that causes Lyme disease is evidence of our commitment to do just that.”
The FDA approval is based on two well-controlled laboratory studies, which showed that NexGard effectively prevented the transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi infections after dogs were infested with wild-caught Ixodes scapularis ticks 28 days after treatment with NexGard.
“Both studies measured the transmission of B. burgdorferi to dogs after exposure to infected ticks. All dogs treated with NexGard tested negative for B. burgdorferi infection, demonstrating that transmission was prevented as a direct result of NexGard killing infected ticks,” Dr. Mills said. “This research shows that NexGard provides a full month of protection against black-legged ticks infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.”
In addition to killing black-legged ticks, NexGard also kills Lone star ticks, American dog ticks and brown dog ticks, the company stated. It also prevents flea infestations by killing adult fleas before they lay eggs.