Veterinary Biologics

veterinary biologics

Veterinary biologics (veterinary vaccines, antiserums, immune modulators) are those products used to prevent, diagnose, or treat animal diseases which achieve their primary effect through immune stimulation or immune modulation.  This mechanism of action distinguishes veterinary biologics (veterinary immuno-biologics) from veterinary medical drugs or veterinary devices.

The manufacture and distribution of veterinary immune modulators, biologics, and diagnostics are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS).  These products should be manufactured according to an Outline of Production, which should be conducted according to Good Manufacturing Practices.  Before shipping experimental veterinary vaccines or biologics for clinical evaluation, the Sponsor should obtain USDA’s authorization to transport (ship), which may include providing the USDA a list of recipients (study sites and investigators).  Approval for veterinary immuno-biologics is conducted under the guidance of the USDA-Center for Veterinary Biologics (USDA-CVB).  Certain veterinary immuno-biologics may be able to obtain a conditional license if they satisfy specific requirements, including  but not limited to reasonable expectations of efficacy, safety and purity.

Technical Sections - Veterinary Biologics

In order to satisfy a Veterinary Product License for veterinary biologics, the following aspects must be satisfied by the Sponsor.

Safety in target species

Efficacy in target species

Potency of the final product

Purity of the final product

Examples of Veterinary Biologics


Antivenoms and antitoxins

Antibody products

Allergen extracts

Bacterins and toxoids

Diagnostic kits (link)

Immune stimulants

Immune modulators



Veterinary Diagnostics

Veterinary diagnostic kits which are used to diagnose pathogens are regulated as biologics by the USDA-APHIS.  Examples are point-of-care veterinary diagnostics such as those to test for feline leukemia virus, canine parvovirus, and other viruses, bacteria, and veterinary pathogens.  Click here to be redirected to our Veterinary Diagnostics page.