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ABSTRACT: Neutralizing antibodies against interferon-beta are associated with a reduction of the efficacy of this drug. Continuing treatment leads to a decline or even loss of neutralizing antibodies over years. No strategies are currently available to shorten the period of neutralizing antibody positivity. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of switching between high and low immunogenic interferon-beta products on neutralising antibody titres. Twenty-four patients treated with the subcutaneously administered interferon-beta 1b or 1a and high titres of neutralizing antibodies were included. At baseline interferon-beta therapy was interrupted for 3 months and two pulses of high dose methylprednisolone were applied. Patients were then randomized to receive either the previous interferon-beta preparation or the low immunogenic intramuscular interferon-beta 1a. The primary end-point was the change of neutralizing antibody titres 12 months after randomization. Twelve patients were switched to interferon-beta 1a intramuscularly and 12 patients remained on previous treatment. Median neutralizing antibody titres were 846 NU at baseline and 196 NU at the end of the study. The median change of neutralizing antibody titres did not differ significantly between therapy switchers and non-switchers. Baseline and final neutralizing antibody titres correlated significantly. In conclusion, neither switching nor continuous therapy with any subcutaneous interferon-beta preparation significantly changed neutralizing antibody titres.
Multiple Sclerosis 11/2009; 15(12):1481-8. · 4.47 Impact Factor