More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Data On the Use of Interferon Alfa-n3 in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Presented At 2001 American Neurological Association Meeting

Thu, Nov 08 1:26 PM EST

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (BW HealthWire) - Interferon Sciences, Inc. (ISI) (OTC-BB:IFSC) announced that a poster entitled, "Response of MR T2 Lesion Load in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: A Retrospective Blinded Study of Treatment with Interferon (beta)1b (Betaseron) versus Interferon (alpha)-n3 (Alferon N) versus Untreated" was presented in Chicago at the 126th Annual Meeting of The American Neurological Association. The poster was presented by Professor William Sheremata, Chief of the Multiple Sclerosis/ Neuroimmunology Center of the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Dr. Sheremata's study was based on the retrospective review of multiple brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to assess multiple sclerosis (MS) brain lesion burden. The study compared the scans of 40 MS patients treated with interferon alfa-n3 as well as 40 MS patients treated with interferon beta-1b (Betaseron(R)), both before therapy and at least six months after initiation of therapy. A control group of 39 untreated MS patient scans were also evaluated with an initial MRI scan at baseline and a second MRI obtained at least six months after the baseline examination. On the 238 scans evaluated (119 patients) only lesions of larger than 5 mm3 were measured to avoid inclusion of potential non-MS lesions and assure accuracy of measurement. All scans were reviewed by consensus of two experienced neuroradiologists who were blinded to all identifiers, including name, date, order of scans, and clinical status of the patient.

The study data showed a reduction in the volume of T2-weighted MS brain lesions in both the interferon alfa-n3 treated group (-10%) and the interferon beta-1b treated group (-7%), as compared to increased lesion volume in the untreated control group (+12%).

Changes in disability scores amongst the groups were also retrospectively reviewed, based on the extended disability status scale (EDSS). Only patients with EDSS scores recorded both at baseline and after at least 12 months were evaluated, which included 38 interferon alfa-n3 treated patients, 31 interferon beta-1b treated patients, and 33 untreated patients. The results showed the mean absolute change in EDSS from baseline to be -1.07 for interferon alfa-n3 treated patients and -0.16 for interferon beta-1b treated patients after 12 months, as compared to +0.80 for untreated patients (negative changes reflect decreased disability scores, positive change reflects increased disability scores). The scale of EDSS scores ranges from 0 for a normal neurological examination to a score of 10 for death due to MS.

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 is presently in discussions with potential corporate partners regarding the further investigation 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.

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