Avonex is a biological therapy derived from the interferon family, and Biogen’s leading drug for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Approved for use in RRMS by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 and in Europe the following year, the drug became the second disease-modifying MS therapy to market after Betaseron (interferon beta-1b; Bayer). In May 2002, Biogen announced that the European Medicines Agency had approved Avonex for use in the treatment of patients at high risk of developing clinically definite MS. In July 2003, the FDA also approved Avonex for the treatment of patients with a first MS attack who also present magnetic resonance imaging features consistent with MS.
Avonex is available as three formulations – a lyophilized powder requiring reconstitution; a premixed liquid syringe kit; and a single-use, prefilled auto-injector – and is administered once per week via intramuscular injection.
Biogen has also developed a longer-acting formulation of Avonex by attaching polyethylene glycol to the active interferon beta-1a molecule. This new formulation, Plegridy, can be dosed once every two weeks and is now approved in the US and EU.
LIST OF FIGURES 8 Figure 54: Ponesimod for multiple sclerosis – SWOT analysis
9 Figure 55: Datamonitor Healthcare’s drug assessment summary of ponesimod for multiple sclerosis
11 Figure 56: Datamonitor Healthcare’s drug assessment summary of ponesimod for multiple sclerosis
LIST OF TABLES 5 Table 1: Avonex drug profile
6 Table 2: Avonex pivotal trial data in multiple sclerosis
12 Table 3: Avonex sales for multiple sclerosis across the US, Japan, and five major EU markets, by country ($m), 2016–25
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