Canada warns of liver complications from beta-interferon use for MS

Health Canada is warning health-care professionals of the risks of using beta-interferon therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Serious liver injury such as hepatitis has been linked to beta-interferon therapy, including three cases of liver failure that required liver transplantation, the department said in a release. Serious liver injury is considered rare, with cases mostly occurring in the early months of therapy but also in patients on therapy beyond one year, it noted.

The department reminded treating physicians they should perform periodic liver function tests, particularly in the early months of therapy, and patients receiving beta-interferon products should be aware of the signs and symptoms of liver injury.

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December 19, 2003 in avonex, betaseron, bummer, interferon-beta, newly diagnosed | Permalink | Comments (0)

Introducing Biogen Idec, Inc.

Biogen Inc. and Idec Pharmaceuticals Corp. on Wednesday completed their planned merger, forming the third-largest biotech company after Amgen Inc. and Genentech Inc..

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Follow the new stock here. Stock symbol BIIB.

November 24, 2003 in avonex, economy, follow the money..., interferon-beta, stocks | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clinical Effects of COPAXONE(R) or Interferon Therapy Compared to Untreated RRMS Patients

The percentages of relapse-free patients in each group were: COPAXONE -- 83 percent; Avonex -- 65 percent; Rebif -- 60 percent; Betaseron -- 60 percent; no treatment -- 37 percent.

Adriana Carra, M.D., Department of Neurology, Hospital Britanico de Buenos Aires, Argentina, spoke about the results. "It is clear that immunomodulatory therapy is beneficial in the long-term treatment of relapsing-remitting patients compared to no treatment. Our data are similar to those observed in other studies published or presented."

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November 5, 2003 in avonex, betaseron, copaxone, interferon-beta, rebif, research | Permalink | Comments (0)