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Biogen and AbbVie’s Zinbryta gets European backing to treat multiple sclerosis

Published on 07/07/16 at 08:49am

Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB) and Abbvie's (NYSE: ABBV) once-monthly Zinbryta (daclizumab) has been approved in European Union for treatment of multiple sclerosis, the companies said.

Michael Severino, executive vice president, research and development and chief scientific officer, AbbVie, said: “With the approval of Zinbryta in the European Union, we are providing a much needed treatment option for people living with MS. This is an important part of AbbVie’s ongoing commitment to advancing neuroscience research specifically in the area of MS.”

The approval was supported by results from two studies involving about 2,400 people. The European Commission (EC) has granted marketing authorization for the drug for the once-monthly injection, the companies said in a joint statement.

Alfred Sandrock, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Biogen, said: “MS manifests differently in each person, with varied symptoms and progressions; therefore, it is important that people living with the disease have treatment choices to address their diverse and evolving needs.”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild or severe, ranging from numbness in the limbs to paralysis or loss of vision. The progression, severity and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. Relapsing MS is the most common form of the disease, accounting for 85 percent of cases, and is characterized by clearly defined acute attacks with full recovery or with residual deficit upon recovery.

Anjali Shukla

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