More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Avonex, Copaxone combination beneficial to MS patients, study shows

October 3, 2001

A combination of Biogen Inc.’s Avonex (interferon beta-1a) and Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.’s Copaxone (glatiramer) may be more powerful than therapy with either drug alone, new data suggested.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, conducted a study to determine how both drugs act on dendritic cells, which play a key role in orchestrating attacks by the immune system.

They discovered that both Avonex and Copaxone increased the number of dendritic cells that exhibit CD86, which stimulates cell responses that have been shown to be beneficial in MS. Additionally, both drugs lowered the dendritic cells’ production of interleukin-12, a molecule that directs other immune system cells to destroy invaders such as bacteria and possibly the body’s own myelin in MS.

The analysis also revealed that Avonex increased the number of dendritic cells producing interleukin-10, a protein that helps stop immune responses that may be harming myelin in MS.

“This suggests that we should try a long-term clinical trial comparing [Avonex] or [Copaxone] alone versus the two in combination,” said study author Dr. Yu-Min Huang.

Study findings were presented at the 126th annual meeting of the American Neurological Association.

(c) 2001 Spotlight Health