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Several press releases and public announcements have shown up in the trade publications and in Kentucky newspapers about a “new” drug called SucroMate Equine being manufactured in Kentucky for use in controlling ovulation in mares.

This is important for a couple of reasons. First, the drug is a controlled-release formulation of deslorelin acetate, which has been used to regulate mares’ ovulation for several years. Previously, there has never been an FDA-approved version of the drug, meaning one that has endured the testing and expense to prove its safety and effectiveness.

And one veterinarian I spoke with said, “This is just FDA-approved deslorelin,” rather than something that horsemen are not familiar with.

Of further interest is the report that the drug manufacturer plans to market 10-dose vials of SucroMate for $30 to $40 apiece, according to company officials. This is a massive price drop compared to the prices for privately compounded shots of deslorelin currently available. Deslorelin compounded by local pharmacies may no longer be available, with Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington halting its production once SucroMate becomes available.

As with other versions of deslorelin, SucroMate is intended to promote ovulation within 48 hours of the injection, and the branded drug will be distributed by Bioniche Life Sciences, a Canadian company that has been developing and marketing animal and human drugs for 30 years. The drug will be available for the start of the 2011 breeding season in February.

CreoSalus developed SucroMate Equine over the last decade. David Phelps, CEO of CreoSalus, is co-founder of the company with Barry Simon, DVM, who was for several years the resident veterinarian at Ashford Stud outside Versailles.

Company officials said CreoSalus has begun working to register the drug outside the United States for sale to the horse breeding industry in Europe, South America, and Australia.