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FDA approves Rebif. (News).

This March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA FDA
Food and Drug Administration

FDA, See Food and Drug Administration.

FDA, the abbreviation for the Food and Drug Administration.
) approved Rebif, a form of interferon beta-1a interferon beta-1a

Avonex, Rebif

Pharmacologic class: Biological response modifier

Therapeutic class: Antiviral, immunoregulator

Pregnancy risk category C


 manufactured by Serono, for treatment of relapsing forms of MS. With the addition of Rebif, there are now five drugs--Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, Novantrone, and Rebif--approved in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area.  for modifying the course of major forms of MS. Avonex, Betaseron, Copaxone, and Rebif are approved for relapsing forms of MS; Novantrone is approved for progressive as well as rapidly worsening relapsing forms of MS.

The FDA approval was based on results from two clinical trials: the PRISMS study and the EVIDENCE study. (See story on page 45.) Since the results from the PRISMS trial were first announced in 1997, Rebif has been prescribed for MS in over 60 countries worldwide. Rebif is taken by subcutaneous (under the skin) injection three times a week.

Avonex, which is also interferon beta-la, was given a seven-year exclusive U.S. market under the provisions of the Orphan Drug orphan drug, drug developed under the U.S. Orphan Drug Act (1983) to treat a disease that affects fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. The orphan drug law offers tax breaks and a seven-year monopoly on drug sales to induce companies to undertake the  Act. This law provides incentives for pharmaceutical companies to research and develop medications for conditions that affect a limited number of people. Rebif was initially not to be available in the United States until mid-2003, unless clinical superiority of Rebif over Avonex could be demonstrated.

To gain earlier approval in the U.S., Serono sponsored a direct "head-to-head" comparison of Rebif and Avonex in the EVIDENCE trial. In approving Rebif prior to mid-2003, the FDA signaled its view that Rebif showed superiority over Avonex within the confines of the EVIDENCE trial.

Side effects Side effects

Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm.
 for both Rebif and Avonex--including flu-like symptoms--were in line with what had been reported previously for interferon betas. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Serano, the approximate price of Rebif is $13,875 annually.

Each of the approved treatments has pros and cons pros and cons
Noun, pl

the advantages and disadvantages of a situation [Latin pro for + con(tra) against]
. The choice of therapy for any particular individual should be made in consultation with his or her personal physician.
COPYRIGHT 2002 National Multiple Sclerosis Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Publication:Inside MS
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2002
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