Biogen Idec to join global MS community to commemorate the second annual World MS Day

On May 26, Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) will join the global multiple sclerosis (MS) community to commemorate the second annual World MS Day. Biogen Idec is a leader in the fight against MS, bringing hope to the thousands of patients across the globe who benefit from the company's MS therapies and ongoing research programs.

“Multiple Sclerosis: A Subject, that Concerns Us All”

World MS Day was established by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation to raise awareness of MS, national MS societies and those living with and affected by MS, to unite, broaden and mobilize the community and to support MS-directed fundraising. This year's World MS Day focuses on raising awareness of employment issues amongst those who are living with MS.

No company is doing more for people living with MS, and to support World MS Day, Biogen Idec will be sponsoring a number of events across the globe. Highlights include:

  • In the United States, conducting a MyMS Yoga class for MS patients with world-renowned yoga instructor Baron Baptiste and teaming up with O'Jays singer Walter Williams as he shares his experiences about living with MS;
  • In France, hosting an art exhibit with paintings from MS patients and partnering with local MS societies for the opening of the "House of MS" where patients and their families can go to learn more about MS and discuss living with their disease with physicians, psychologists, nurses and patient associations;
  • In Germany, along with a local patient organization, hosting "Multiple Sclerosis: A Subject, that Concerns Us All," an MS awareness event with a climbing wall, artists, musicians and MS information booths;
  • In Switzerland, providing yoga lessons to raise awareness of MS as part of the MS Yoga program;
  • In Ireland, asking people to encourage employers to support people with MS in the workplace through a call to action;
  • In Japan, distributing information about MS to the public to raise awareness of the disease; and
  • In India, supporting chapters of a local patient organization through MS-educational events.

"Biogen Idec is committed to bringing hope to the MS community by developing more effective and convenient therapies for those living with MS," said John R. Richert, M.D., vice president and senior fellow, Neurology Research and Development, Biogen Idec. "Part of this effort is to set new standards to measure success and to redefine future success in MS treatment. As we continue to work with patient organizations, researchers, the medical community and industry colleagues, these goals are indeed within sight."

Biogen Idec's unwavering support for the MS community was recently acknowledged in Spain by the Sociedad Española de Neurología (SEN). The SEN awarded Dr. Guido Decap, vice president and managing director of Biogen Idec Iberia, with an Award of Honor for his contributions to and support of scientific and medical research in the field of neurology.

As a leader in the fight against MS, Biogen Idec has a comprehensive portfolio that includes two marketed therapies: AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) and TYSABRI® (natalizumab). The company's late-stage pipeline includes four programs which have the potential to redefine future success for MS treatment:

  • Fampridine, which Biogen Idec will commercialize as prolonged release tablets in markets outside of the U.S. Fampridine prolonged release tablets are undergoing marketing authorization review with the European Medicines Agency, Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia, Medsafe in New Zealand and SwissMedic in Switzerland for the improvement of walking ability in adult patients with MS. The company has also filed a New Drug Submission with Health Canada;
  • BG-12, an investigational oral therapy that has been shown to activate the Nrf2 transcriptional pathway, which, experimentally, has demonstrated both neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties;
  • PEGylated interferon beta-1a, which through the process of PEGylation, protects the interferon beta-1a molecule from being degraded, extending the amount of time the drug remains in a patient's system; and
  • Daclizumab, a monoclonal antibody that is believed to selectively target immune cells that become activated in response to MS without causing general immune cell depletion, potentially offering a distinct immunomodulatory approach to treating the disease.

SOURCE Biogen Idec

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