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New Data Presented at WCTRIMS* Supports the Importance of Early and Sustained Treatment with Betaseron(R)
Date:9/19/2008

Earlier treatment initiation and longer exposure to Betaseron was associated with improved long-term outcomes in multiple sclerosis

MONTREAL, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Data presented at the World Congress on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (WCTRIMS) demonstrated that early initiation of Betaseron(R) (interferon beta-1b) treatment had a greater impact on long-term outcomes, when compared to delayed treatment. (i)

The study, sponsored by Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, used data from the 16-Year Long-Term Follow-up Study of Betaseron to investigate the relationship between timing of drug initiation and length of exposure to treatment, and long-term outcomes. It demonstrated that initiating Betaseron treatment early in the disease reduced the risk of negative long-term outcomes, including conversion to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), reaching a confirmed EDSS of 6.0 or the use of a wheelchair. The study also found that the longer patients stayed on treatment, the better their long-term outcomes were. (i)

"The new analysis confirmed that in MS, timing of treatment is important. The findings showed that even if two patients are treated for an equivalent length of time, the one who started therapy earlier in the disease course had a better long-term outcome," said Douglas Goodin, MD, Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at UCSF Medical Center. "Patients and physicians should take these results into consideration when making treatment decisions."

A second study, called CogniMS, also presented at WCTRIMS, demonstrated that cognitive deficits can be measured early in the course of MS. (ii) The investigators suggested that such cognitive deficits may be clinically important for MS management decisions.

"Studies are now showing that apart from disease progression and relapse rates, cognition is another area that is impacted early in the course of the disease. In fact, there is a correlation between t
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SOURCE Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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