More MS news articles for April 2002

Longest MS Study Shows Long-Term Benefit of Copaxone(r)

Results from the longest prospective MS drug trial were released April 17 at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting. The study showed that the majority of patients treated with Copaxone(r) remained either unchanged or improved in their neurologic status during an eight-year period.

Fleishman-Hillard, Kansas City

DENVER, Colo. (Apr. 18, 2002) -- The majority of patients treated with COPAXONE(r) (glatiramer acetate for injection) remained either unchanged or improved in their neurologic status during an eight-year period in the longest prospective multiple sclerosis drug trial ever. These results were released today at the American Academy of Neurology annual conference in Denver, Colo.

"People in this study have had relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis for an average of 15 years. Based on studies on the natural course of MS, half of those would be expected to use walking aids, such as a cane or a wheelchair, if left untreated. This study found that patients who received drug therapy had a mean EDSS of 3.17, which means most of them are still walking without assistance," said Kenneth P. Johnson, M.D., professor of neurology, director of the Maryland Center for MS at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

This trial was originated in 1991, and 251 patients with relapsing-remitting MS were randomized into a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of COPAXONE(r). The placebo-controlled phase lasted for approximately 30 months. Patients were then invited to continue in the open-label phase of the trial in which all patients received COPAXONE(r). Of the 251 patients, 208 continued in the open-label phase. At year eight, 68 percent or 142 patients remained in the study. This study presented the results eight years into the 12-year trial.

"One of the key questions was how the group that started on COPAXONE(r) (glatiramer acetate for injection) compared with the patients who spent 30 months on placebo. We discovered there was a consequence for delaying therapy," said Dr. Johnson.

Patients who received placebo at the beginning of the study were more likely to have worsened by more than one step on the EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) (p=0.0263). The EDSS measures the levels of disability of a person with MS.

In addition, the relapse rate across the entire eight years was significantly better for patients always on COPAXONE(r) versus those who began on placebo (p=0.0459). The COPAXONE(r) group began the trial with a yearly relapse rate of 1.49 and that rate fell to 0.16 by year eight. For the group that began on placebo, the entry relapse rate was 1.45, falling to 0.23 by year eight.

COPAXONE(r) is indicated for the reduction in the frequency of relapses in relapsing-remitting MS. The most common side effects of COPAXONE(r) are redness, pain, swelling, itching, or a lump at the site of injection, weakness, infection, pain, nausea, joint pain, anxiety, and muscle stiffness.

COPAXONE(r) is now approved in 40 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Israel and all the European countries. In Europe, COPAXONE(r) is marketed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Aventis Pharma. In North America COPAXONE(r) is marketed by Teva Neuroscience.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA), headquartered in Israel, is among the top 40 pharmaceutical companies and among the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. More than 80 percent of Teva's sales are in North America and Europe. The company develops, manufactures, and markets generic and innovative human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as focusing on innovative R&D, developing novel drugs for diseases of the central nervous system.

Teva Neuroscience, Inc. is a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Call 1-800-887-8100 or log onto for more information about COPAXONE(r) or multiple sclerosis.

COPAXONE(r) is a registered trademark of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

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This report contains forward-looking statements, which express the beliefs and expectations of management. Such statements are based on current expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company's future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation, the difficulty of predicting FDA and other regulatory authority approvals, the regulatory environment and changes in the health policies and structure of various countries, acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products and new therapies, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the availability and pricing of ingredients used in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products, uncertainties regarding market acceptance of innovative products newly launched, currently being sold or in development, the impact of restructuring of clients, reliance on strategic alliances, fluctuations in currency, exchange and interest rates, operating results, and other factors that are discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 20-F and the Company's other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

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