February 3, 2004
Boston Business Journal
Cambridge-based Biogen Idec and Irish drug maker Elan Corp. said Tuesday they are filing an FDA application to use their drug Antegren to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and plan to launch Phase II clinical trials for the new use later this year.
Biogen and Elan are also working together to use the drug to treat multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease, and Antegren is in Phase III clinical trials for both diseases.
Last July, however, the company faced data that showed Antegren's use in Crohn's disease didn't show significant improvement over a placebo in late-stage clinical trials.
The companies said then that they stood by the drug and would continue to test it for Crohn's, a gastrointestinal inflammatory disease.
Biogen Idec and Elan have high hopes to tap into the rheumatoid arthritis market, which affects an estimated 5.8 million people worldwide.
They plan to test the drug in patients with moderate-to-severe rheumatoid
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