Merial announced March 2 that it has acquired Legend (hyaluronate sodium) and Marquis (15% w/w ponazuril) from Bayer HealthCare. Merial initially announced the agreement with Bayer on Dec. 17, 2014.

Legend is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved joint therapy product labeled for both intra-articular (in the joint) and intravenous injection. It is indicated in the treatment of joint dysfunction of the carpus (knee) or fetlock in horses due to noninfectious synovitis (joint inflammation) associated with equine osteoarthritis.

“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, MS, Dipl. ACVS, manager of large animal veterinary services for Merial. “In addition to the horse itself, individual horse owners also feel the negative effects of lost performance.”

Marquis was the first FDA-approved product for the treatment of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (more commonly known as EPM), a neurologic disease caused by Sarcocystis neurona, a parasite that invades the brain and spinal cord. If left untreated, the disease can lead to serious, permanent central nervous system damage or death. When used as directed, Marquis is designed to cross the blood-brain barrier to kill S. neurona, stopping the parasite from inflicting further damage to the horse’s central nervous system.

“We are excited about the opportunities these two products present for us,” says Steve Mahoney, head of Merial’s U.S. large animal division. “Many of us