Merial Adds More Horsepower with Acquisition of Two Equine Health Care Products

Acquisition broadens Merial's global equine health solutions.

March 4, 2015–Merial, a leader in the animal health care industry, announced on Monday it completed its acquisition of LEGEND® (hyaluronate sodium) and

MARQUIS® (15% w/w ponazuril) from Bayer HealthCare. Merial had announced the agreement with Bayer on December 17, 2014. The addition of these two products to the Merial portfolio solidifies the company’s position as a leader in performance horse health care.

“We are committed to providing horse owners with proven, safe and effective products, ensuring optimal horse health, which ultimately lays the groundwork for peak performance,” says Steve Mahoney, head of U.S. large animal, Merial. “LEGEND and MARQUIS both have long histories of success and enhance our existing product offerings to all horse owners, whether they trail ride, compete locally or have stood in the winner’s circle on the national stage.”

LEGEND is the first FDA-approved joint therapy product labeled for both intra-articular and intravenous injection. It is indicated in the treatment of joint dysfunction of the carpus or fetlock in horses due to non-infectious synovitis associated with equine osteoarthritis. Joint therapy is used to block the further release of inflammatory mediators. By decreasing the production and release of these mediators, LEGEND helps reduce joint inflammation and the resulting pain and lameness.1

“As a major cause of decreased performance in horses, joint dysfunction can develop from repeated episodes of trauma a horse experiences in everyday use, training or competing,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, manager, large animal veterinary services, Merial. “In addition to the horse itself, individual horse owners also feel the negative effects of lost performance.”

LEGEND has a proven track record, with millions of doses sold and more than 20 years of treatment success. In field studies, clinical improvement was judged to be excellent or good in 90 percent of the cases treated with I.V. LEGEND and in 96 percent of the cases treated with I.A. LEGEND.2

Another premier equine product, MARQUIS, is the first FDA-approved product for the treatment of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). EPM is a neurological disease caused by Sarcocystis neurona, a parasite that invades the brain and spinal cord. If left untreated, it can lead to serious, permanent damage to the central nervous system or death.3

Horses become infected with EPM via contact with opossum feces through grazing or contaminated feed.3 The clinical signs can be subtle and similar to other equine disorders, so it can be difficult to detect. When used as directed, MARQUIS is proven to cross the blood-brain barrier to kill S. neurona,stopping the parasite from inflicting further damage to the horse’s central nervous system.4,5

“We are excited about the opportunities these two products present for us,” says Mahoney. “Many of us on the Merial equine team are also horse owners, so we understand the impact safe and effective products can make on a horse’s well-being. LEGEND and MARQUIS are great complements to our existing portfolio of equine products,” says Mahoney.

This includes ULCERGARD® (omeprazole), GASTROGARD® (omeprazole), ZIMECTERIN® (ivermectin) brand products, EQUIOXX® (firocoxib) Paste, and MERIAL® brand vaccines RECOMBITEK® rWNV-EWT and IMRAB.®

For more information about LEGEND, visit

For more information about MARQUIS, visit


Important Safety Information: The safety of LEGEND has not been evaluated in breeding stallions or in breeding, pregnant or lactating mares. Post-Approval Experience: While all adverse reactions are not reported, the following adverse reactions are based on voluntary post-approval reporting for LEGEND Injectable Solution: Following intravenous use: Occasional depression, lethargy, and fever. Following intra-articular (LEGEND Injectable Solution – 2 mL only) use: lameness, joint effusion, joint or injection site swelling, and joint pain.


Important Safety Information: The safe use of MARQUIS in horses used for breeding purposes, during pregnancy, or in lactating mares, has not been evaluated. In animal safety studies, loose feces, sporadic inappetence, lost weight, and moderate edema in the uterine epithelium were observed.

About Merial

Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health and well-being of a wide range of animals. Merial employs 6,100 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide with over $2 billion of sales in 2014.

Merial is a Sanofi company.

For more information, please see

What did you think of this article?

Thank you for your feedback!