NEW YORK (AP) – Biogen Idec Inc. and Abbott Laboratories said that multiple sclerosis drug candidate daclizumab worked better than a placebo at preventing a relapse of symptoms during a mid-stage clinical trial.
The study involved 600 patients who received a low dose of daclizumab, a larger dose, or a placebo. They were treated once every four weeks for a year. The companies said that after a year of treatment, the rate of relapse in patients who were treated with the low dose was 54 percent lower than the relapse rate in the placebo patients. In patients who were treated with the higher dose, the relapse rate was 50 percent lower compared to placebo.
The relapse rate comparison was the main goal of the trial. The companies said patients who were treated with daclizumab also had fewer new brain lesions. The proportion of daclizumab patients who relapsed was also lower than the placebo group, and patients who were treated with the drug had slower disability progression.
The companies said they will present full results from the trial at a scientific conference.
Biogen and Abbott are developing a subcutaneous version of daclizumab, and are also studying the drug in a late-stage clinical trial. The drug was approved in Europe under the name Zenapax, and it was marketed by Roche as a treatment for kidney organ rejection. The companies say the drug creates a response to cells that are activated in multiple sclerosis without causing general depletion of immune cells.
Biogen is based in Weston, Mass., and Abbott is headquartered in North Chicago, Ill.
Date: August 9, 2011
Source: Associated Press
Filed Under: Drug Discovery