FDA approves Extavia for MS

Aug 17 2009

Extavia was FDA-approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS.  The therapy is also indicated for patients who have experienced a first attack of MS and have MRI changes consistent with MS. 

Extavia is interferon beta-1b.  Interferon beta-1b was the first FDA-approved treatment in 1993.   The version of interferon beta-1b available for the past 16 years has been Betaseron.  Novartis, who temporarily owned the plant making interferon beta-1b,  has made an arrangement with Bayer, makers of Betaseron, to brand and market their version Extavia.  Now we have two names for the same medicine made in the same plant!

The key will be support for those living with MS:   injection training, nursing support, reimbursement specialists and out-of-pocket costs.   Novartis is committed to MS and working on additional treatments including the daily oral experimental medication FTY720 that will likely go to the FDA for review before the end of 2009.

BY: Barry Singer, MD DATE: August 17, 2009 TOPIC: MS Research News