New Evidence Shows Drug could Protect Patients From Neuronal Loss
Jerusalem, Israel, November 21, 2002 - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. (Nasdaq: TEVA) announced today that European researchers have uncovered new evidence that COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate for injection) not only reduces relapse rate in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) but also encourages the release of a factor that helps protect the brain from axonal loss.
According to a study published in the November 2002 issue of Brain, COPAXONE® stimulates T-cells to produce the neuroprotection factor BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in tissue culture using T-cells from a COPAXONE® patient. BDNF is one of the most potent factors that encourages nerve tissue survival and regulates neurotransmitter release and nerve growth. Several previous studies have shown that BDNF can rescue injured or degenerating neurons and encourage axonal outgrowth, remyelinations and nerve regeneration. It also can protect axons from elimination during the course of degenerative diseases.
"This study clearly shows that COPAXONE® stimulated T-cells produce the neurotrophic factor BDNF. Because we know BDNF plays an important role in protecting and healing axonal damage, it is an important finding and may be an additional mechanism of action for COPAXONE®," said Tjalf Ziemssen, Department of Neuroimmunology, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Martinsried, Germany.
These new findings were further supported by an editorial in Brain.
COPAXONE® is now approved in 41 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Israel and all the European countries. In Europe, COPAXONE® is marketed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Aventis. In North America, COPAXONE® is marketed by Teva Neuroscience.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., headquartered in Israel, is among the top 35 pharmaceutical companies in the world. More than 80 percent of Teva's sales are in North America and Europe. The company develops, manufactures and markets generic and branded human pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Teva's innovative R&D focuses on developing novel drugs for diseases of the central nervous system.
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