More MS news articles for June 2001

Data On the Use of Interferon Alfa-n3 in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Presented At the XVII World Congress of Neurology Meeting

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JUN 25, 2001
Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers
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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.--(BW HealthWire)--June 25, 2001--Interferon Sciences, Inc. (ISI) (OTC-BB:IFSC) announced that a poster reporting on a retrospective evaluation entitled, "Interferon alfa-n3 (Alferon N) Reduces Enhancing Gadolinium Brain Lesions in Multiple Sclerosis" was presented at the XVII World Congress of Neurology Meeting in London, by Professor William Sheremata, Chief of the Multiple Sclerosis/Neuroimmunology Center of the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Evaluation Results

Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in 69 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients either treated with interferon alfa-n3 or untreated as control. The images revealed the presence of gadolinium enhanced (Gd+) lesions in the brain in 2 out of 31 patients (6%) treated with interferon alfa-n3 for 3-6 months, as compared to 14 out of 38 patients (37%) in the untreated group. Gd+ lesions in 1 of the 2 Gd+ patients in the interferon alfa-n3 group were found to be due to an arterio-venous malformation of the corpus callosum, and not MS-related new active lesions. Gd+ allows the earliest identification of new or "active" lesions in the brain because it only enters the brain where there is a breakdown in the blood brain barrier. Following the initial assessment, no other patients exhibited new active brain lesions with continued interferon alfa-n3 therapy.

Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores were recorded for these patients over a mean of 11 months of follow-up. In this evaluation, disability decreased in the interferon alfa-n3 treated group since EDSS scores decreased from 4.8 to 3.4, while these scores in the untreated group increased from 3.8 to 4.5. The scale of EDSS scores ranges from 0 for a normal neurological examination to a score of 10 for death due to multiple sclerosis.

Background

The majority of treated patients included in the interferon alfa-n3 treated group had received subcutaneous injections of interferon alfa-n3 after adverse reactions were experienced from treatment with other agents. These included MS patients who had suffered from prominent injection site reactions or other side effects from interferon beta-1b (Betaseron(R)). Interferon alfa-n3 was also used in patients with very active MS, rapidly progressive disease, or those with advanced disability who were judged unlikely to benefit from or tolerate Betaseron.
 
Brain MRI with Gd+ was performed in 69 MS patients, 38 who declined treatment (untreated group) and 31 treated subcutaneously with interferon alfa-n3. MRI allows objective evaluation of disease progression in MS.
 
In this study, a retrospective evaluation of brain disease in MS utilizing patient records and evaluating MRI scans was performed. MRI scan records documenting disease were identified in consecutive MS patient's records from a master list. Clerical staff assembled this list without regard to factors other than the patient's treatment status. Both patient records and recorded images were reviewed. Reports were identified and information regarding the use of gadolinium enhancement and the MRI studies were retrieved. Images were subsequently evaluated and the presence of Gd+ lesions in images from patients with clinically definite MS was confirmed.
 
This retrospective evaluation does not constitute a prospective clinical study of the type needed to obtain regulatory approval, and does not indicate that interferon alfa-n3 will be shown to be effective if such clinical studies are performed. However, based in part upon these encouraging findings, the Company has begun seeking a corporate partner to further assess the use of its interferon alfa-n3 product as a potential treatment in patients afflicted with MS.
 
Interferon Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the study, manufacture and sale of pharmaceutical products based on its highly purified, natural-source, multi-species alpha interferon. The Company's ALFERON N Injection(R) (Interferon Alfa-n3) product has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of certain types of genital warts, and is being studied for potential use in other indications, including cancer and multiple sclerosis. The Company recently signed an exclusive technology license agreement with Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research of Rochester, MN for the rights to technology under investigation for preventing the recurrence of cancer after surgical removal of tumors.
 
In addition, the Company is seeking to enter into collaborations with companies in the areas of cancer, infectious diseases, and immunology. The Company's strategy is to utilize its expertise in regulatory affairs, clinical trials, manufacturing, and research and development to acquire equity participations in early stage companies. The Company recently acquired a significant equity interest in Metacine, Inc., a company developing anti-cancer vaccines based on dendritic cell technology.

The forward-looking statements contained herein reflect ISI management's current views with respect to future events and financial performance. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of ISI, including, those risks and uncertainties detailed in the Company's periodic reports and registration statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Interferon Sciences, Inc...Advancing immunotherapy naturally

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CONTACT:
Interferon Sciences, Inc.
Lawrence M. Gordon, 732/249-3250 x545
Chief Executive Officer
    or
Stanley G. Schutzbank, Ph.D., 732/249-3250 x502
President