WESTON, Mass.—Biogen Idec Inc. said Friday that its potential treatment for a common form of multiple sclerosis did better than a placebo in reducing relapses in late-stage clinical testing.
The Weston, Mass., company said the oral treatment reduced the portion of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who relapsed by about half compared with a placebo.
The results were from the first of two late-stage clinical studies that aim to determine the effectiveness and safety of the drug.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy nerves. It can cause pain, numbness, slurred speech, impaired vision, muscle weakness, and neurological problems.
Biogen said patients taking their "BG-12" treatment, also known as dimethyl fumarate, had significant reductions in the number of brain lesions compared to patients on a placebo after two years.