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New Analyses from 16-Year Follow-up Trial with Betaseron(R) Demonstrated that Early and Sustained Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Patients Enrolled in the Trial Affected Their Long-term Outcomes
Date:4/29/2009

SEATTLE, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- New analyses of data from the 16-Year Long-term Follow-up study with Betaseron(R) (interferon beta-1b), sponsored by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, were presented at the American Academy of Neurology's (AAN) 61st Annual Meeting. The study results showed that early and sustained exposure to Betaseron in study participants with multiple sclerosis (MS) were more likely to avoid a negative clinical outcome as demonstrated years later.(1)

In this study, early initiation and sustained exposure to Betaseron were strongly associated with a reduced risk of a negative outcome (i.e., EDSS score greater than or equal to 6.0, wheelchair use or conversion to SPMS) after 16 years.

"Our analyses showed the potential for long-term benefits of starting Betaseron treatment early and staying on therapy, even after accounting for known potential biases that may arise in the long-term follow-up observational studies," said Dr. Douglas Goodin, Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at UCSF Medical Center, who performed these analyses and presented his findings. "More importantly, these findings show that among study patients who were treated for an equal length of time, the ones who started therapy earlier were more likely to avoid a negative clinical outcome over the long term."

Dr. Goodin continued, "We are now continuing to follow these patients to the 20-year mark. The data from this 20-year follow-up will provide us with more information regarding impact of treatment on disease progression."

About the Study

The 16-Year Long-term Follow-up Study is a multicenter observational study that collected data from patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) who participated in the pivotal North American trials for Betaseron. Several statistical methods were used to assess patient data and examine the relationship between timing of drug exposure and long-
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SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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