"We now see real hope for changing the course of disease progression for relapsing MS if people with the disease start an effective treatment like Betaseron right away, rather than wait for further clinical signs of MS to occur," said James Simsarian, M.D., past president of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and director of the MS program at the Neurology Center of Fairfax in Fairfax, Virginia.
Other key findings of the BENEFIT follow-up study include:
-- Sensitivity analyses confirmed the robustness of the main findings.
-- Development of neutralizing antibodies did not have an impact on
disability-related or relapse-related outcomes in the trial.
-- Betaseron was safe and well-tolerated, with the reporting of adverse
events (AEs) similar to those previously reported for the drug.(3)
-- 90 percent of the patients who entered the follow-up study elected to
receive Betaseron treatment, indicating high patient acceptance of
treatment. In the study, methods that may have helped patients stay on
therapy included: the implementation of dose titration at the start of
treatment, the use of an auto-injector to give the injections and co-
medication with an analgesic in the first weeks of treatment.
"Bayer HealthCare revolutionized the treatment of MS when we introduced Betaseron as the first disease-modifying treatment," said Darlene Jody, M.D., Senior Vice President and President of Bayer HealthCare's Specialized Therapeutics Global Business Unit. "The BENEFIT results have the potential to again transform the MS treatment paradigm as they provide convincing evidence that treating patients with Betaseron shortly after the first clinical event suggestive of MS can delay disability progression."
BENEFIT is a multi-center trial conducted at 98 sites in 20 countries
and included pa
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