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COPAXONE may repair nerve damage in MS patients

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (November 15, 2005) -- Clinical research data published in the December issue of Multiple Sclerosis provided evidence that COPAXONE (glatiramer acetate injection) may offer protection from axonal injury and induced neuronal metabolic recovery in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

In a pilot study of 18 RRMS patients using brain imaging techniques, COPAXONE was found to produce significant increases in n-acetylaspartate/creatine (NAA/Cr) ratio, an indicator of neuron and axon integrity, compared to four untreated control patients after one year of treatment. This increase was maintained at two years of follow-up. Additionally, patients treated with COPAXONE showed a significant 50 percent reduction in relapses compared to baseline (p<0.001) while relapse rate in the untreated group remained unchanged.

"The increases in NAA/Cr ratios with COPAXONE suggested sustained beneficial effects on cerebral axonal recovery. We believe this indicates a potential for improved electrical conduction pathways in the brain, supporting the emerging concept that, centrally, COPAXONE may be acting as a neuroprotective agent," said Omar Khan, M.D., associate professor of neurology and director of experimental therapeutics/clinical research, Multiple Sclerosis Center, Wayne State University. "This data is of critical significance because axonal transection is a well-known feature of active MS lesions and represents an irreversible stage of the disease process," said Dr. Khan.

Twenty-two treatment-nave RRMS patients were included in the study. Baseline neurological assessments and magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (MRSI) scans were performed. Eighteen patients were treated with COPAXONE (glatiramer acetate injection) and followed for two years with neurological assessments every six months and MRSI scans annually. Due to needle phobia, four patients elected to remain untreated and were followed using the same assess
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Contact: John Shaw
john.shaw@tevaneuro.com
816-508-5062
Ketchum
15-Nov-2005


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