New Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) Data at ECTRIMS Highlights the Importance of Disability and Imaging Predictors for Long Term Outcomes

- Data include post-hoc assessments of controlled studies in relapsing MS of predictive scores for disease activity and disability progression, as well as a cost-effectiveness analysis of Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) vs Avonex® (interferon beta-1a) based on the 'no evident disease activity' (NEDA) measure

- The new data presented underscore company's commitment to impacting patient care and adherence

Sep 24, 2015, 09:36 ET from EMD Serono

ROCKLAND, Mass., Sept. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- EMD Serono, the U.S. biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced that data about Rebif® (interferon beta-1a), the company's high-dose, high-frequency interferon beta for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis will be presented at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), taking place October 7-10 in Barcelona, Spain. The new data will help healthcare professionals and patients to make informed therapeutic treatment decisions and better understand the impact of Rebif in patients with relapsing forms of MS.

"Data from the eight studies emphasize EMD Serono's continuing commitment to innovating and understanding relapsing MS as well as our well established therapy, Rebif," said Steven Hildemann, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, and head of Global Medical Affairs and Global Drug Safety at the biopharmaceuticals business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.  "We will present real-world data that will help us understand more fully the patient journey and aim to optimize MS patient care, including data on the comparative cost-effectiveness of Rebif."

The following abstracts have been accepted for presentation at ECTRIMS 2015:


Lead Author

Abstract Number

Presentation Date/Time (CEST)

Predictive value of early MRI measures for long-term disease activity in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis receiving IFN beta-1a SC tiw or IFN beta-1a IM qw: post hoc analyses of the EVIDENCE study


K.P. Coyle (Stony Brook, United States)




Poster Sessions
09.10.2015, 15:30 – 17:00


Predictive value of EDSS worsening and relapse/active T2 lesions on outcomes among patients receiving IFN beta-1a SC tiw for RRMS: post hoc analyses of PRISMS data over 4 years


M. Cascione (Tampa, United States)




Poster Sessions
09.10.2015, 15:30 – 17:00


Factors associated with continuation of treatment with IFN beta-1a given subcutaneously three times a week: a US retrospective cohort study


M. Sabido-Espin (Darmstadt, Germany)




Poster Sessions
08.10.2015, 15:45 – 17:00


The impact of age, gender, and geographic region on the prevalence of common comorbidities in patients with MS in a large US administrative claims database from 2006-2012


J.C. Locklear (Rockland, United States)




Poster Sessions

09.10.2015, 15:30 – 17:00


Development of a composite, administrative claims-based measure of disease severity among patients with multiple sclerosis receiving disease-modifying drug therapy


A.L. Phillips (Rockland, United States)




Poster Sessions

09.10.2015, 15:30 – 17:00


Cost-effectiveness of 44 mcg subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (scIFNbeta-1a) and 30 mcg intramuscular interferon beta-1a (imIFNbeta-1a) using clinical endpoints of disease activity


A.L. Phillips (Rockland, United States)




Poster Sessions

09.10.2015, 15:30 – 17:00


Factors associated with early disease-modifying drug (DMD) treatment initiation in newly diagnosed patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)


A.L. Phillips (Rockland, United States)




Poster Sessions

09.10.2015, 15:30 – 17:00


An evaluation of adherence between patients with multiple sclerosis newly initiating treatment with a self-injectable or an oral disease-modifying drug


J.C. Locklear (Rockland, United States)




Poster Sessions

09.10.2015, 15:30 – 17:00


The full abstract are available at

Avonex® is a registered trademark of Biogen, Inc.

About Rebif® (interferon beta-1a)

Rebif (interferon beta-1a) is used to treat relapsing forms of MS to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.

Important Safety Information

Before beginning treatment, you should discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with Rebif with your healthcare provider.

Rebif can cause serious side effects. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below while taking Rebif.

  • Behavioral health problems including depression and suicidal thoughts. You may have mood problems including depression (feeling hopeless or feeling bad about yourself), and thoughts of hurting yourself or suicide
  • Liver problems or worsening of liver problems including liver failure. Symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite, tiredness, dark colored urine and pale stools, yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eye, bleeding more easily than normal, confusion, and sleepiness. During your treatment with Rebif you will need to see your healthcare provider regularly and have regular blood tests to check for side effects
  • Serious allergic and skin reactions. Symptoms may include itching, swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue or throat, trouble breathing, anxiousness, feeling faint, skin rash, hives, sores in your mouth, or skin blisters and peels
  • Injection site problems. Symptoms at the injection site may include redness, pain, swelling, color changes (blue or black), and drainage of fluid.
  • Blood problems. Rebif can affect your bone marrow and cause low red and white blood cell, and platelet counts. In some people, these blood cell counts may fall to dangerously low levels. If your blood cell counts become very low, you can get infections and problems with bleeding and bruising. Your healthcare provider may ask you to have regular blood tests to check for blood problems
  • Seizures. Some people have had seizures while taking Rebif

Rebif will not cure your MS but may decrease the number of flare-ups of the disease and slow the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.

Do not take Rebif if you are allergic to interferon beta, human albumin, or any of the ingredients in Rebif.

Before you take Rebif, tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any of the following conditions:

  • mental illness, including depression and suicidal behavior
  • liver problems, bleeding problems or blood clots, low blood cell counts, seizures (epilepsy), or thyroid problems
  • drink alcohol
  • you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Rebif will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant during your treatment with Rebif.
  • you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if Rebif passes into your breast milk. You and your healthcare provider should decide if you will use Rebif or breastfeed. You should not do both.

Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

The most common side effects of Rebif include:

  • flu-like symptoms. You may have flu-like symptoms when you first start taking Rebif. You may be able to manage these flu-like symptoms by taking over-the-counter pain and fever reducers. For many people, these symptoms lessen or go away over time. Symptoms may include muscle aches, fever, tiredness, and chills
  • stomach pain
  • change in liver blood tests

For additional information about Rebif, please consult the Prescribing Information and Medication Guide at and talk to a health care professional.

About EMD Serono

EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading US biopharmaceutical company focused exclusively on specialty care. For more than 40 years, EMD Serono has integrated cutting-edge science, innovative products and devices, and industry-leading patient support and access programs. EMD Serono has deep expertise in neurology, fertility and endocrinology, as well as a robust pipeline of potential therapies in neurology, oncology, immunology and immuno-oncology. Today, EMD Serono has more than 1,100 employees around the country with commercial, clinical and research operations based in the company's home state of Massachusetts.

For more information, please visit  

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, is a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials. The company has six businesses – Biopharmaceuticals, Consumer Health, Allergopharma, Biosimilars, Life Science and Performance Materials – and generated sales of € 11.3 billion in 2014. Around 39,000 employees work in 66 countries to improve the quality of life for patients, to foster the success of customers and to help meet global challenges. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical company – since 1668, the company has stood for innovation, business success and responsible entrepreneurship. Holding an approximately 70% interest, the founding family remains the majority owner of the company to this day. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are Canada and the United States, where the company operates as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials.

Erin Marie Beals 
Phone 781-681-2850