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Celebrating 10 years

Improved survival in people with MS treated with Betaferon

10th May, 2012

A long-term follow-up study of people with MS who commenced treatment with Betaferon over 21 years ago has showed increased survival compared to those who received placebo.

The research examined the rate of death from any cause in people with MS who took part in the pivotal North American Betaferon trial. The data was published in the journal Neurology in April 2012. Betaferon is one of the several interferon beta immunomodulatory therapies available in Australia for people with relapsing remitting MS. The original trial looked at the effects of Betaferon treatment given to people with MS earlier in their disease course at two doses compared with placebo.

The risk of death was reduced by 46.8 percent in the group who received treatment of 250 µg of Betaferon for up to five years compared with the placebo group. Participants who received a lower dose of 50 µg of Betaferon also showed a similar improvement in survival. This study is the longest assessment of any MS treatment and collected information on an amazing 98 percent of the original trial participants.

‘These results strongly support the practice of starting effective disease-modifying therapy early in the course of MS. This is especially true for agents such as Betaferon, which are known to have a long-term safety profile,’ said Douglas S. Goodin, MD, Professor of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, and lead author of the study. ‘As demonstrated by our study, the early initiation of treatment can prolong survival in MS.’

Read the article abstract [click here]