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Biogen Idec MS drug meets goal in late-stage study

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 4:17am
The Associated Press

Biogen Idec Inc. said Monday that a late-stage clinical trial showed its multiple sclerosis drug candidate was better than a placebo at preventing relapses in patients with the most common form of the disease.

Shares of Biogen Idec jumped $4.66, or 6.4 percent, to $77.95 in pre-market trading.

Biogen Idec said patients who took the drug candidate called BG-12 were less likely to have a relapse after two years than patients who took a placebo. The company said patients who took BG-12 had fewer lesions related to the disease and were less disabled after two years.

The company is studying BG-12, or dimethyl fumarate, as a treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Patients with that type of the disease have new symptoms that occur suddenly or old ones that suddenly get worse. In the trial, about 1,200 patients took either the placebo, or 240 milligrams of BG-12 two or three times per day.

Biogen Idec expects to report results from another study of the drug in the second half of 2011. That trial compares BG-12 to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s drug Copaxone, the most-prescribed MS drug in the world.

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