New MS PATHS Data at ECTRIMS 2021 Confirm Biogen’s Disease-Modifying Therapies Do Not Reduce Antibody Response to COVID-19 Vaccines in People with Multiple Sclerosis

  • MS PATHS data indicate that 100 percent of people with MS treated with natalizumab, interferons or fumarates achieved an antibody response following COVID-19 vaccination
  • Data from this analysis also suggest that approximately 40 percent of people with MS treated with anti-CD20 and S1P disease-modifying therapies (DMT) mount an antibody response to the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Collaborative MS PATHS network enabled rapid collection of data in the COVID-19 environment

Biogen today announced results of a new analysis of immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine among people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The results, which demonstrate that patients treated with Biogen’s portfolio of MS therapies mount an effective antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination, are being presented at the 37th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) virtual meeting, October 13-15, 2021.

Using data from the MS PATHS network in the U.S., Germany and Spain, researchers evaluated blood samples from 322 participants 28-90 days after their last COVID-19 vaccine dose. Preliminary results suggest that anti-CD20 and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) therapies may reduce the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination. For all other classes evaluated in the analysis, including the broad range of MS therapies offered by Biogen, the antibody response to vaccination is consistent with the response of patients not being treated with an MS disease-modifying therapy (DMT).

“These results demonstrate that MS DMTs impact antibody responses to COVID-19 vaccination in different ways and understanding these differences is crucial,” said Jeffrey Cohen, M.D., Cleveland Clinic, and a paid consultant for Biogen. “These insights are important in helping providers and patients alike manage MS while seeking to protect patients from COVID-19 through vaccination.”

Approximately 92 percent of participants in the analysis received an mRNA vaccine. Immune response was measured using immunoglobulin G (IgG) assays. Specific IgG rates (IgG index >1) from initial post-vaccination testing (28-90 days post last vaccination dose) were 40 percent (32/80) for anti-CD20s (ocrelizumab, rituximab and ofatumumab), 41 percent (16/39) for S1P therapies (fingolimod, ozanimod, and siponimod) and 100 percent (175/175) for all other DMTs (fumarates – dimethyl-fumarate and diroximel fumarate, glatiramer acetate, interferons – IM IFN beta-1a, pegylated IFN beta-1a and IFN beta-1b, natalizumab, teriflunomide and alemtuzumab).

“We care deeply about people with MS and wanted them and their health care providers to have timely information to help address key questions about COVID-19,” said Maha Radhakrishnan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Biogen. “Leveraging the unique MS PATHS network, we were able to quickly generate data on the impact of the different MS DMTs on COVID-19 vaccine antibody responses. This is part of a comprehensive plan to understand B and T cell activation in the context of people with MS on DMTs being vaccinated for COVID-19 and will add to efforts by researchers to gather these important data.”

Additional Data Presentations Featured at ECTRIMS
Biogen is presenting a total of 38 abstracts from across its MS portfolio as part of its ongoing commitment to improving the understanding of the disease and advancing treatment through innovation. Presentations at ECTRIMS include:

  • IgG Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination in People Living With Multiple Sclerosis Within MS PATHS (P652)
  • Flushing and Flushing-Related Adverse Events With Diroximel Fumarate in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Results from the Phase 3 EVOLVE-MS-2 Study (P673)
  • Early Data Suggest Diroximel Fumarate Has High Rates of Real-World Adherence and Persistence (P850)
  • Diroximel Fumarate in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Interim Safety and Efficacy Results from the Phase 3 EVOLVE-MS-1 Study (P739)
  • Comparison of Time to Clinically Meaningful Improvement in Neuro-QoL in Patients Treated With Natalizumab Versus Ocrelizumab (P252)
  • Comparison of Pharmacokinetic Profiles and Safety Outcomes with Peginterferon Beta-1a Administration in Black/African American and White Participants (P663)
  • Efficacy and Safety of Opicinumab in Participants With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 2 Trial (AFFINITY Part 1) (P147)

Biogen sponsored the MS PATHS (Partners Advancing Technology and Health Solutions) network to foster collaboration between leading MS centers in the U.S. and Europe to help transform patient care by generating standardized data from a diverse, real-world patient population. MS PATHS is uniquely able to collect clinical, MRI and biologic data from all patients in real-time, at the point of care, to better understand the disease and ultimately improve the lives of those living with MS.

About Biogen
At Biogen, our mission is clear: we are pioneers in neuroscience. Biogen discovers, develops and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases as well as related therapeutic adjacencies. One of the world’s first global biotechnology companies, Biogen was founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp. Today Biogen has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis, has introduced the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics and is focused on advancing research programs in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, neuromuscular disorders, movement disorders, ophthalmology, neuropsychiatry, immunology, acute neurology and neuropathic pain.

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