Wednesday January 5
Serono's Rebif MS drug, Teva's Copaxone to go head-to-head in test
ZURICH (AFX) - Serono SA said it has completed patient enrollment for its planned head-to-head comparative trial of its Rebif drug with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd's Copaxone in the treatment of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
700 patients have been enrolled to take part in the two-year test, the Swiss biotech group said in a statement.
A previous head-to-head comparing Rebif to Biogen Idec Inc's Avonex allowed Serono to gain market approval in the US.
Serono wants Rebif to be market leader in the multi-billion dollar MS drugs market in the US, and therefore worldwide, by next year.
'The ongoing Rebif(R) versus Copaxone(R) trial will provide comparative data that will support an evidence-based approach for rational treatment decisions in multiple sclerosis, and we expect the data to support Rebif(R) as the foundation therapy for treatment of multiple sclerosis.'
Rebif is Serono's biggest product, making up around 51 pct of third quarter sales.
Serono shares have come under pressure in recent months on concerns about competition to Rebif from Biogen Idec and Elan Corp PLC's new Tysabri drug, formerly known as Antegren.
MS is a disease of the central nervous system, affecting an estimated 2 mln people worldwide.