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First Ten-Year Follow-Up Shows That Treatment With AVONEX® Leads To Long-Term Benefits In Early Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:20pm
Sept 8, 2009

Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) today announced data results from the CHAMPIONS (Controlled High-Risk AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Prevention Study In Ongoing Neurologic Surveillance) study, an open label follow-up to CHAMPS (Controlled High Risk Subjects AVONEX MS Prevention Study). Based on the CHAMPS study, AVONEX was granted approval for use in patients who experienced their first clinical MS episode with MRI findings. The CHAMPIONS ten-year follow up showed that patients treated immediately after their first episode had significantly less chance of experiencing a second attack versus those patients with delayed treatment. These results at ten years also indicate that 80 percent of patients taking AVONEX were below an expanded disability status scale (EDSS) score of three. These data were presented as a poster at the Annual American Academy of Neurology (AAN) meeting.

"There is a consensus among physicians that early initiation of effective therapy beginning shortly after symptom onset may be required to alter the long term course of MS, but until now there has been little evidence to support this hypothesis," said Dr. R. Philip Kinkel, director of the multiple sclerosis center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA and lead investigator of CHAMPIONS. "This data confirms that treatment of high risk patients beginning shortly after symptom-onset reduces relapse rates and may reduce disease progression for up to 10 years. This may translate into an ability to remain active and enjoy daily activities that otherwise might be lost without treatment."


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