Anti-interferon beta antibodies in MS care: A consensus

SEATTLE -- February 14, 2004 -- The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) announced today that the presence of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) has a significant effect on interferon beta therapy and this issue warrants the attention of health care providers and patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The findings, presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and National Association of Science Writers (NASW) annual meeting, state that when an MS patient develops NAbs, his/her body perceives these protein-based therapies to be "foreign," like an allergen or infection causing organism and mounts an immune response against them, basically rendering the therapy less effective.

According to Andrew R. Pachner, M.D., Professor, Department of Neurology and Neurosciences at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Medical School, "Patients who develop NAbs show higher relapse rates, an increased number of enlarging brain lesions, and new lesion formation compared with NAb-negative patients."

Long-Term MS Therapy and Neutralizing Antibodies

The rise of biologics (protein-based medications, which are similar to regulatory proteins normally produced by humans and generally administered by injection or infusion) has benefited countless patients in the treatment and management of chronic diseases, including cancer, anemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and MS.

"Biologic therapies are a significant advancement in the treatment of chronic, relapsing diseases, but in recent years, we have observed an unexpected consequence of attacking the immune system," said Frederick Munschauer, M.D., Chair, Department of Neurology, SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine and Secretary of the Board of Governors, CMSC, and the Co-Chair of the CMSC Cooperative Studies Group in Multiple Sclerosis.

Relapsing-remitting MS patients take disease-modifying therapies called interferon betas,

Contact: Cindy Gessell

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