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Comparing efficacy and side effects of a weekly intramuscular biogeneric/biosimilar interferon beta-1a with Avonex in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis: a double blind randomized clinical trial.

Author(s): Nafissi S, Azimi A, Amini-Harandi A, Salami S, shahkarami MA, Heshmat R.

Affiliation(s): Department of Neurology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Shariati Hospital, Tehran, Iran. nafisi@sina.tums.ac.ir

Publication date & source: 2012, Clin Neurol Neurosurg. , 114(7):986-9

OBJECTIVE: We compared the efficacy and safety of two biosimilar forms of interferon beta-1a in the treatment of multiple sclerosis: Avonex (Biogen Idec, USA) and CinnoVex (CinnaGen, Iran). METHODS: In a double blind randomized clinical trial study 84 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 0-5.5 were randomly allocated to two groups of 42 subjects. RESULTS: Twenty-four patients lost to follow-up. Finally, 31 patients (mean±SD of age=33.7±7.0; 7 males and 24 females) in the Avonex and 29 patients (mean±SD of age=32.2±9.2; 8 males and 21 females) in the CinnoVex group completed full 24 months of study period. Decrease in EDSS was 1.05±0.24, p=0.62 in the Avonex and 0.16±0.88, p=1.0 in the CinnoVex group after 12 months and 0.27±1.05, p=0.46 in the Avonex and 0.16±1.06, p=1.0 in the CinnoVex group after 24 months. There was no statistically significant difference in attack number between two groups (1.0±1.2 in Avonex and 1.2±1.3 in CinnoVex; p=0.46). Volume of T2-weighted lesions on MRI showed a progressive significant increase in the 12th month (28056±23693) in Avonex treated patients compared with first image (16353±11172) (p=0.01). But number of gadolinium-enhancing lesions in CinnoVex showed statistically significant decrease after 12 months (0.08±0.28 vs. 1.00±1.22; p=0.03). However, there were no significant differences between groups after 24 months. There were no significant differences between 2 groups regarding frequency and duration of most considerable side effects, as well. Neutralizing antibodies were not positive in any patients. CONCLUSION: CinnoVex can be used as a safe and effective alternative to Avonex in treatment of RRMS.

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