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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 15271-15286; doi:10.3390/ijms160715271

Interferon Beta-1a (AVONEX®) as a Treatment Option for Untreated Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (AXIOM): A Prospective, Observational Study

1
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg D-97070, Germany
2
Biogen Idec GmbH, Ismaning D-85737, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kurt A. Jellinger
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 27 May 2015 / Published: 6 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Abstract

The efficacy and safety of first-line disease-modifying therapies (DMT) for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) has been demonstrated in pivotal, randomized trials, but these studies do not reflect the routine care setting where treatment gaps or switches are common. The Avonex as Treatment Option for Untreated MS Patients (AXIOM) trial assessed the efficacy of newly-initiated intramuscular interferon beta-1a (IM IFNb-1a) after a treatment-free interval, with particular consideration of the previous course of disease and therapy. The AXIOM trial was an open, 12-month, observational, non-interventional study with a retrospective and a prospective part conducted in Germany. RRMS patients with a treatment-free interval of at least three months were included and treated with IFNb-1a for up to 12 months. Relapse rate, disability progression, injection-related parameters and quality of life observed during the prospective part were compared with retrospectively-collected data. Two hundred and thirty five RRMS patients participated in AXIOM. The mean relapse rate decreased from 1.1 in the three months before baseline to 0.2 per quarter during the twelve-month observational period; the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite score improved during twelve months of IM IFNb-1a treatment, while the Expanded Disability Status Scale score did not change over the course of this study. Compared to previous DMTs (IM IFNb-1a, subcutaneous IFNb-1a (SC IFNb-1a), SC IFNb-1b, glatiramer acetate), the patients experienced less injection site reactions and flu-like symptoms, with a stated improved quality of life. IM IFNb-1a was effective and well accepted in RRMS patients with no or discontinued previous therapy. These results from the routine care setting may inform optimization of DMT treatment in RRMS, but need confirmation in further studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; disease-modifying therapy; injection site reactions; quality of life; efficacy relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; disease-modifying therapy; injection site reactions; quality of life; efficacy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kleinschnitz, C.; Niemczyk, G.; Rehberg-Weber, K.; Wernsdörfer, C. Interferon Beta-1a (AVONEX®) as a Treatment Option for Untreated Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (AXIOM): A Prospective, Observational Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 15271-15286.

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