Updated 11:41 PM ET November 7, 2000
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Serono S.A. (SRA) said a Netherlands board instructed Biogen Inc. (BGEN) to retract misleading advertising regarding Avonex.
In a press release Wednesday, Serono said the Standards Board of CGR Foundation, a body that regulates advertising activity by pharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands, issued a preliminary injunction stating that Avonex advertising entitled 'unsurpassed efficacy' is misleading and not permissible until Avonex has been compared with competing drugs.
Serono currently is conducting a head-to-head trial of Rebif and Avonex, the results of which are expected in the second half of 2001.
Both drugs treat multiple sclerosis. Serono can't sell Rebif in the U.S. at the moment because Avonex went to market first under orphan drug status, freeing it from competition until 2003.
If Serono can prove to the Food and Drug Administration that Rebif treats the disease better than Avonex, it may be able to market Rebif sooner to U.S. customers.
-Jennifer Rossa; Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5400