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BOVA UK issues statement on omeprazole concerns
BOVA Aus and BOVA UK have switched supplier for the excipient that was responsible for the traces of testosterone.
Company changes excipient responsible for testosterone traces 

Drug company BOVA UK has issued a statement after testosterone was identified in a vial of its long-acting omeprazole injection in June.

Supply of the product ceased in Australia after the initial discovery by the New South Wales racing authority.

Samples tested by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) confirmed the issue extended to the UK and the racing body recently advised against using injectible omeprazole in racehorses.

BOVA Aus and BOVA UK have carried out their own investigations and switched their supplier for the excipient that was responsible for the traces of testosterone. The company said all testing done on the new supplier has shown no traces of testosterone.

Independent testing
Nick Bova, managing director of BOVA UK, said: “We had no explanation for how contamination could have occurred at that time as we do not handle testosterone.

“The Omeprazole active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is subject to ID testing on arrival at our licensed manufacturing facilities as well as material approval checks and compliance checks to set specifications in order to ensure that it complies with international standards.”

Through an independent testing process, it was revealed that one of the excipient raw ingredients contained testosterone at levels that are well within accepted international standards for impurities. Levels of testosterone found in the end product were confirmed by external laboratories to be 400-700 picograms per ml.

Supplier change
Mr Bova continued: “We have consulted veterinary pharmacologists and sports medicine specialists who have given their opinion that these levels are within accepted standards and could neither have a clinical effect nor result in a positive blood or urine test for testosterone in competition horses.

“The levels of testosterone within the product are inconsequential compared to endogenous production in mares and geldings as well as stallions and higher levels are found frequently in feed and water sources; testosterone being a common compound produced by humans and animals from multiple organs…

He added: “Although the level of impurities is well within the accepted international standard, we have changed the supplier of the excipient in question. We have established an analytical method capable of testing down to picogram levels, which has been used to test the end product to ensure there are no further concerns with future batches.”

“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this issue may have caused. Many vets and horse owners now rely on long acting injectable omeprazole for horses that do not respond to oral treatment and we can reassure anyone who has used the product in recent months, or has product that they are due to use, that they can do so safely. However, we would draw attention to the recent statement from the BHA that they do not wish the product to be used in horses in training currently.”

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.