Tysabri Effective in Crohn's Trial

The drug helps maintain remission in patients who were treated for longer than two years.
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Biogen Idec

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reported trial data showing that Tysabri helped maintain remission in patients with Crohn's disease who were treated for longer than two years.

On the basis of studies of roughly 90 Tysabri patients, 93% of those in remission at 12 months remained in remission after six more Tysabri infusions. About 86% of patients were still in remission after 12 additional infusions, according to data presented to the Annual American College of Gastroenterology and at the 14th United European Gastroenterology Week.

Among 22 patients previously treated with

Johnson & Johnson's

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Remicade, 91% were in remission after six and 12 additional Tysabri infusions. Of the study's participants who had previously failed therapy with Remicade, 82% were in remission at the same time points after receiving Tysabri, Biogen and Elan said Tuesday.

"What is truly exciting is that patients who enter remission on Tysabri may remain in remission in the long-term without loss of efficacy over time," said Dr. Remo Panaccione, director of the inflammatory bowel disease clinic at the University of Calgary in Canada.

Biogen Idec's shares fell 1.2% to $44.73, while Elan was up 0.7% to $15.54.

Tysabri was withdrawn from the market early last year after the drug was linked to cases of a rare and sometimes deadly brain disease when used in combination with another Biogen Idec drug, Avonex. Tysabri returned to the market with restrictions earlier this year after an extensive review by the Food and Drug Administration and the establishment of patient-monitoring procedures.