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Press release from Business Wire

AVONEX PEN Now Available for Multiple Sclerosis Patients in Canada

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>-- AVONEX PEN is the first single-use intramuscular autoinjector for MS patients --</i> </p>

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

AVONEX PEN Now Available for Multiple Sclerosis Patients in Canada14:00 EDT Wednesday, June 01, 2011 MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (Business Wire) -- Biogen Idec Canada Inc today announced AVONEX® PEN™ is now available for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) and patients with a single demyelinating event in Canada. “We are delighted to make AVONEX PEN available to MS patients in Canada. For many patients, AVONEX is the therapy of choice for treating their disease. AVONEX PEN will now offer them a more convenient option for administering their treatment,” said Dr. Len Walt, Medical Director, Biogen Idec Canada Inc. “Biogen Idec is committed to the MS community and no company is doing more for those living with this disease. We are dedicated to bringing new innovations to MS patients such as AVONEX PEN.” AVONEX PEN is the first single-use, once-a-week, fully integrated intramuscular autoinjector available for use with AVONEX (interferon beta-1a) treatment in patients with relapsing MS. It is designed to improve convenience of AVONEX administration, while also reducing injection anxiety. It integrates the currently approved AVONEX Prefilled Syringe and utilizes a 25 gauge 16 mm (5/8 inch) needle specifically created for AVONEX PEN. Additional features of AVONEX PEN include a protective injector shield that conceals the needle prior to injection, automated needle insertion and medication delivery, and a diameter and length designed to stabilize AVONEX PEN during the injection procedure. In addition, AVONEX PEN incorporates a safety lock, which helps prevent injection error, and a display window that confirms complete delivery of the medication. The approval in Canada is based, in part, on the Phase 3b open-label, multicentre study which evaluated the safety and efficacy of AVONEX PEN. The study included patients with MS using AVONEX Prefilled Syringe for at least 12 weeks prior to enrollment (n=70). Efficacy of AVONEX PEN was assessed through objective and subjective assessments of key aspects of patients' use of the single-use autoinjector. In the study, the overall success rate in patients with MS using AVONEX PEN was 89 percent. In the same study, 94 percent of patients expressed a preference for AVONEX PEN over the AVONEX Prefilled Syringe. About Multiple Sclerosis MS is a chronic, unpredictable and progressive disease of the central nervous system that causes inflammation and destruction of the myelin sheath – the protective layer that surrounds the body's nerve fibers. This destruction may result in cognitive impairment, physical disability and fatigue. According to the MS Society in Canada, Canadians have one of the highest rates of MS in the world and it is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) affects about 85 percent of the MS population. RRMS is characterized by clearly defined flare-ups followed by periods of partial or complete recovery or remission. About AVONEX AVONEX (interferon beta-1a) is one of the most prescribed treatments for relapsing forms of MS worldwide. It is used worldwide as a treatment for relapsing forms of MS to slow the progression of physical disability and reduce relapses. AVONEX is also approved for patients who have experienced a single demyelinating event, accompanied by abnormal MRI scans, with lesions typical of MS. The most common side effects associated with AVONEX MS treatment are flu-like symptoms, including myalgia, fever, fatigue, headache, chills, nausea, vomiting, pain and asthenia. AVONEX should be used with caution in patients with depression or other mood disorders and in patients with seizure disorders. AVONEX should not be used by pregnant women. Patients with cardiac disease should be closely monitored. Patients should also be monitored for signs of hepatic injury. Routine periodic blood chemistry and hematology tests are recommended during treatment with AVONEX. Rare cases of anaphylaxis have been reported. For information regarding the Canadian Product Monograph, please visit: Biogen Idec Canada Inc Biogen Idec Canada Inc is a division of Biogen Idec, Inc. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec Inc. is the world's oldest independent biotechnology company. The company uses cutting-edge science to discover, develop, manufacture and market therapeutic products for the treatment of serious diseases with a focus on neurological disorders. Patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis therapies, and the company generates more than $4 billion in annual revenues. For product labeling, press releases and additional information about the company, please visit Biogen Idec International GmbHShannon Altimari, +41 (0) 41 392 1677Senior Manager, Public