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Biogen gets conditional approval in Europe for MS drug

Biogen Idec said today it received conditional regulatory approval in Europe to market its drug Fampyra, a treatment to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the body attacks the brain and spinal cord.

The European Commission approved the company’s tablet based on studies showing it increased walking speed up to 25 percent in adults with multiple sclerosis. The approval is conditional and regulators are requiring the company to conduct a long-term, follow-up study of the drug’s benefits. The approval will have to be renewed annually until full approval is granted.

Known generically as fampridine, Fampyra was developed by Acorda Therapeutics Inc., which markets it in the U.S. under the brand name Ampyra.

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Shares of Biogen Idec Inc., based in Weston, Mass., rose 50 cents to $106.06 in midday trading.

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