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FDA approves prefilled syringe for Avonex once-a-week MS therapy

CAMBRIDGE, MASS., May 29, 2003 -- Biogen, Inc. announced that the FDA has approved a new prefilled syringe for Avonex (interferon beta-1a), designed to make treatment even more convenient for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Avonex, the only once-a-week treatment for MS, is now approved in a convenient, prefilled syringe that makes it even easier to administer. Biogen expects the prefilled syringe to be available in August and replace the currently available form of Avonex.

As with the current form of Avonex, the new formulation will be indicated to slow the progression of disability and reduce the frequency of relapses in relapsing forms of MS, including people who have experienced a first clinical episode and who have brain scans consistent with MS.

Avonex, which is administered by intramuscular injection, should be used with caution in patients with depression or other mood disorders and in patients with seizure disorders. Avonex should not be used by pregnant women. Patients with cardiac disease should be closely monitored. Patients should also be monitored for signs of hepatic injury. Routine periodic blood chemistry and hematology tests are recommended during treatment with Avonex. Rare cases of anaphylaxis have been reported. See complete prescribing information at

Source: Biogen, Inc.

Posted: May 2003