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beta interferon

How does Interferon-beta work ?
The mechanisms by which IFNs exert their effects are not
                                  completely understood. However, in most cases they act by
                                  affecting the induction or transcription of certain genes, thus
                                  affecting the immune system. In vitro studies have shown that IFNs
                                  are capable of inducing or suppressing about 20 gene products

                                  IFN-beta may act by three major pathways in MS:

                                       regulation of T-cell functions such as activation,
                                       proliferation and suppressor cell function;
                                       modulation of the production of cytokines:
                                       down-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines and
                                       up-regulation of inhibitory, antiinflammatory cytokines;
                                       regulation of T-cell migration and infiltration into the
                                       CNS via the BBB (blood brain barrier).

                                  Interferon beta-1a has been evaluated in the largest, randomised,
                                  placebo-controlled clinical trial in relapsing-remitting multiple
                                  sclerosis to date. This is the PRISMS (Prevention of Relapses and
                                  Disability by Interferon beta-1a Subcutaneously in Multiple
                                  Sclerosis) study, which involved 560 patients in three continents
                                  and collected 1094 patient-years of data. PRISMS included patients
                                  who were impaired (Expanded Disability Status Scale score of
                                  0-3.5) and truly disabled (Expanded Disability Status Scale score of
                                  > 3.5). Patients were randomized into 3 groups (placebo, 22 mcg,
                                  44 mcg) and drug was administered 3 times/week by subcutaneous

                                  View The Lancet Article online (HTML)
                                  Download The Lancet Article in PDF format (Acrobat)

                                  Future products

                                  Tumor necrosis factor binding protein receptor
                                  Within the framework of pre-clinical development, Ares-Serono is
                                  studying the therapeutic potential of recombinant tumor necrosis
                                  factor binding protein (r-hTBP-1). This protein acts by neutralizing
                                  tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a cytokine which can aggravate the
                                  disease state when secreted in excessive amounts in patients
                                  suffering from autoimmune diseases, malignant diseases or in
                                  septic shock. Recombinant hTBP-1 could therefore prove to be
                                  useful in the treatment of a variety of diseases including rheumatoid
                                  arthritis, cachexia (wasting), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's
                                  disease), and multiple sclerosis.

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