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Daclizumab shows potential for new immunoregulatory approach to treating MS
Date:2/16/2010

Cambridge, Mass. and Redwood City, Calif. February 16, 2010 Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Facet Biotech Corporation (NASDAQ: FACT) today announced the publication of Phase 2 data showing that the addition of daclizumab to interferon beta (IFNβ) led to a significant reduction in the number of new or enlarged multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions when compared to IFNβ alone in patients with active relapsing forms of MS. The trial, called CHOICE, also showed that daclizumab led to an increase in a subset of the natural killer (NK) cells that help regulate the immune system. These data were published in Online First, the online edition of The Lancet Neurology, and will be published in the April issue of the Lancet Neurology.

Study results showed that daclizumab 2mg/kg administered subcutaneously every two weeks in combination with IFNβ reduced the number of new or enlarged gadolinium contrast-enhancing lesions (Gd-CELs) by 72 percent versus IFNβ therapy alone. The presence of Gd-CELs is thought to indicate inflammation within the central nervous system that corresponds with MS disease activity. In addition, treatment with daclizumab resulted in a seven- to eight-fold increase of CD56bright NK cells, which was associated with a decrease in disease activity. Daclizumab was well-tolerated in the CHOICE trial and common adverse events occurred with a similar frequency in each of the treatment groups.

"The CHOICE trial demonstrated that daclizumab was associated with a robust increase in important cells that help regulate the immune system, as well as a significant reduction in MS lesion formation," said John W. Rose, M.D., professor of Neurology, Research Laboratory, Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System and the University of Utah, and an author on the manuscript. "Previous studies have shown that people with MS have less of these immunoregulatory cells than people without MS which, coupled with the reduction in
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Contact: Kate Weiss
617-914-6524
GCI Health
Source:Eurekalert

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