Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) versus Avonex

The EVIDENCE study

Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) is the only self-injected relapsing MS treatment proven to work better than another in a class I clinical trial.*

In fact, the FDA approved Rebif based on these results compared with Avonex® (interferon beta-1a), among other considerations.

The EVIDENCE study was a head-to-head trial that compared Rebif with Avonex for an average of 64 weeks. Rebif 44 mcg was given to 339 people 3 times per week just under the skin, at least 48 hours apart. Avonex 30 mcg was given to 338 people once per week into the muscle.

Over 64 weeks, significantly more people taking Rebif 44mcg versus Avonex 30 mcg:

The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disability progression, is unknown.

Important safety information

In the EVIDENCE study, side effects were generally similar between Rebif and Avonex:

  • People taking Avonex had more flu-like symptoms than those taking Rebif.
  • People taking Rebif had a greater number of injection-site reactions, elevated liver enzymes and decreased white blood cell counts.

Rebif is proven to work better in people changing from another therapy (Avonex)

People who chose to stay in the extension phase of the study and changed from Avonex to Rebif had fewer relapses and brain lesions after an average of 8 months of Rebif treatment, compared with their last 6 months on Avonex.

605 people remained at the end of the head-to-head phase of the EVIDENCE study. A total of 495 people participated in the extension phase of the EVIDENCE study, which lasted an average of 8 months. In the extension phase, all patients were offered the option of either taking Rebif 44 mcg or leaving the study. 73% of those taking Avonex 30 mcg chose to take Rebif 44 mcg, while 91% of those taking Rebif 44 mcg 3 times a week chose to stay on Rebif 44 mcg.

Significant reductions were seen across 2 key treatment measures

The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disability progression, is unknown.

Important safety information

Compared with Avonex, side effects were generally similar despite the higher, more frequent dosing of Rebif. Differences included people taking Avonex had more flu-like symptoms than those taking Rebif. People taking Rebif had a greater number of injection-site reactions, elevated liver enzymes and decreased white blood cell counts; these events also occurred more frequently with Rebif posttransition versus prior use of Avonex.

*According to the American Academy of Neurology, data from class I studies are collected under the highest scientific standards and are thought to be the most valid.
EVidence for Interferon Dose-response: European North American Comparative Efficacy.
‡New or enlarging lesions detected with PD/T2-weighted MRI.
§Annualized relapse rate—Rebif: 0.32; Avonex: 0.64.
**Mean number of new or enlarging lesions detected with PD/T2-weighted MRI: 0.9 for patients during their last 6 months on Avonex versus 0.7 after transitioning from Avonex to Rebif.

Ron B.
MS LifeLines Ambassador, living with relapsing MS

Rebif infokit
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