More MS news articles for November 2000

Study: No need to double the dose on Biogen's MS drug

Tuesday November 28, 1:57 pm Eastern Time

BOSTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Biotechnology firm Biogen Inc. (NasdaqNM:BGEN - news) said on Tuesday that higher doses of its multiple sclerosis drug Avonex do not provide additional benefits to patients.

A three-year clinical trial of 802 patients in 10 European countries found that doubling the weekly dose of Avonex to 60 micrograms was not more effective in treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, the company said. A weekly 30-microgram dose was equally effective in reducing progression of the disease, according to the study.

"Increasing the dose cannot be justified since it is clear that such a strategy achieves no additional clinical benefit," University of Toulouse professor Michel Clanet, principal investigator of the study said in a statement.

Avonex accounts for about 80 percent of the sales for Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen. The company last month reported third-quarter sales of $233.76 million. More than 93,000 patients worldwide use the injectable drug.

Shares of Biogen traded up 1/16 to $58-3/4 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq market.

Copyright © 2000 Reuters Ltd.