Avonex® (interferon beta 1-a)
- Parent company: Biogen Idec.
- Taken via weekly intermuscular injections.
- Approved for relapsing forms of MS and for individuals with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), which is the initial symptom a patient reports prior to a diagnosis of MS.
- May affect the immune system by decreasing damaging cells and increasing cells that suppress inflammation.
- The ACT trial evaluates Avonex in combination with (1) methotrexate (MTX), (2) intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP), or (3) both MTX and IVMP; data showed favorable trends in multiple clinical and MRI outcomes; adding MTX and IVMP may be helpful in patients on Avonex with continuing active disease; reported to be safe and well-tolerated.
- Five-year data for initial treatment with Avonex after CIS show continued positive effects on patients receiving Avonex from beginning versus placebo.
- Ongoing, Phase III trial for relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) combines Avonex with Copaxone (COMBI Rx trial), using three arms: Avonex alone, Copaxone alone, and combination of both.