Rebif is a self-injected relapsing MS treatment proven to work better than another interferon.
The EVIDENCE* study was a head-to-head trial that compared Rebif with Avonex® (interferon beta-1a). Rebif 44 mcg was given to 339 people 3 times a week under the skin. Avonex 30 mcg was given to 338 people once a week into the muscle. Results were measured at 24, 48, and over an average of 64 weeks.
Over an average of 64 weeks in a study with more than 600 people, high-dose, high-frequency Rebif 44 mcg was proven superior to low-dose, low-frequency Avonex 30 mcg. When measured at 24 and 64 weeks, more people taking Rebif 44 mcg versus Avonex 30 mcg:
- Were relapse free (percentage of people remained free from flare-ups at 24 weeks of treatment: Rebif, 75%; Avonex, 63%; Rebif, n=339; Avonex, n=338; P<0.001
- Showed fewer new or enlarging brain lesions† on MRI:
- More people on Rebif were free of T1‐weighted gadolinium‡‐enhanced lesions than people on Avonex (at 24 weeks of treatment: Rebif, 58%; Avonex, 38%; Rebif, n=325; Avonex, n=325; P<0.001)
‡ Gadolinium is a contrast medium injected prior to MRI scans. It passes through breaches in the blood-brain barrier and is therefore used to highlight new and active lesions. The usage of gadolinium greatly enhances the sensitivity of a T1-weighted MRI.
- More people on Rebif showed no new or enlarging T2 brain lesions than people on Avonex (at 24 weeks of treatment: Rebif, 60%; Avonex, 43%; (Rebif, n=325; Avonex, n=325)
Compared with Avonex, side effects were generally similar, with the following exceptions: 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.
At the end of the head-to-head (comparative) phase of the EVIDENCE study, the 605 remaining people were asked if they wanted to leave the study or keep going in the “extension phase.” In this phase, everyone would receive Rebif 44 mcg 3 times a week. Four hundred ninety-five people chose to participate in this phase of the study, which lasted an average of 8 months—73% of those taking Avonex 30 mcg chose to take Rebif 44 mcg—whereas 91% of those taking Rebif 44 mcg decided to stay with it.
Those who chose to stay in the Extension phase and changed from Avonex to Rebif experienced 50% reduction in relapses†II compared with their last 6 months on Avonex.
People who stayed on Rebif had a 26% further reduction in relapses after an average of 8 months. By the end of the head-to-head phase, these people had 0.46 relapses/flare-ups, and in the Extension phase, they had 0.34 relapses/flare-ups (annualized mean flare-up rate).‡