Biogen Idec lengthens shelf life of Avonex

Biogen Idec has succeeded in extending patent protection for its multiple sclerosis drug Avonex to 2026, some 13 years beyond the original patent-expiration date. The IP sleight of hand comes in the form of a newly issued method-of-use patent, which also covers Avonex treatment of multiple sclerosis. The recombinant beta interferon drug is big seller for the big biotech, says Reuters.

In ongoing development of Avonex, the drug maker is currently conducting trials of a long-acting version.

More good news on Avonex for Biogen Idec:  Data from a Phase IIII study show that MS patients using the drug report "significantly fewer" injection site reactions compared with patients on Betaferon, Copaxone or Rebif. Avonex-takers also were less likely to have missed a dose due to an injection site reaction in the four weeks prior to first assessment than those on other therapies.

- here's the Reuters article
- see the Phase IIII study release