Long-term follow-up of a randomized study of combination interferon and glatiramer acetate in multiple sclerosis: Efficacy and safety results up to 7 years

Academic Article


  • Background To report the long-term results of the blinded extension phase of the randomized, controlled study of the combined use of interferon beta-1a (IFN) 30 μg IM weekly and glatiramer acetate (GA) 20 mg daily compared to each agent alone in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Methods 1008 RRMS patients were followed on protocol until the last participant enrolled completed 3 years, allowing some subjects to be followed for up to 7 years. The primary endpoint was reduction in annualized relapse rate. Secondary outcomes included time to confirmed disability, Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) score and MRI metrics. Results Similar to the core study, combination IFN + GA was not superior to the better of the single agents (GA) in risk of relapse. Both the combination therapy and GA were significantly better than IFN in reducing the risk of relapse. The combination was not better than either agent alone in lessening confirmed EDSS worsening or change in MSFC. Also similar to the core result, the combination was superior to either agent alone in reducing new lesion activity, but the 3 year MRI result did not presage a clinical benefit over the extended observation interval. Conclusion Combining GA & IFN did not produce a significant clinical benefit over the entire study duration. The earlier effect on reducing MRI activity did not result in a later clinical advantage. The combination showed a sustained advantage in reducing disease activity free status.
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    Author List

  • Lublin FD; Cofield SS; Cutter GR; Gustafson T; Krieger S; Narayana PA; Nelson F; Salter AR; Wolinsky JS
  • Start Page

  • 95
  • End Page

  • 102
  • Volume

  • 18