Multiple sclerosis drugs Avonex and Tysabri taken together are more effective than Avonex alone, according a late-stage trial of the combination treatment, drugmakers
Patients treated with both Tysabri and Avonex saw a 24% reduction in the risk of disability progression and a 56% decline in the clinical relapse rate compared with patients treated with Avonex alone.
The reduction in relapse rate was statistically significant and sustained over a two-year study period, the companies said. Efficacy data from the study at two years were similar to data previously reported after one year.
Tysabri had been approved for treating multiple sclerosis before being pulled from the market earlier this year.
"We continue to believe in the therapeutic benefit of Tysabri in MS, a disease with significant unmet medical need," Biogen Idec said in a press release. "Our extensive safety evaluation, in collaboration with leading experts and regulatory agencies, is on track and we hope to have findings by the end of the summer."
Worldwide, 1,171 patients took part in the trial. Biogen Idec shares were up 41 cents after hours to $38.51, and Elan was unchanged.