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Advances in the treatment of relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis: the role of pegylated interferon β-1a

Authors Furber KL, Van Agten M, Evans C, Haddadi A, Doucette JR, Nazarali AJ

Received 23 September 2016

Accepted for publication 22 December 2016

Published 24 March 2017 Volume 2017:7 Pages 47—60

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DNND.S71986

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller

Kendra L Furber,1–3 Marina Van Agten,1–3 Charity Evans,2,4 Azita Haddadi,2 J Ronald Doucette,3–5,† Adil J Nazarali1–4

1Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, 2College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, 3Neuroscience Research Cluster, University of Saskatchewan, 4Cameco Multiple Sclerosis Neuroscience Research Center, City Hospital, 5Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Dr. J Ronald Doucette passed away on May 15, 2016

Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease with unpredictable phases of relapse and remission. The cause of MS is unknown, but the pathology is characterized by infiltration of auto-reactive immune cells into the central nervous system (CNS) resulting in widespread neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Immunomodulatory-based therapies emerged in the 1990s and have been a cornerstone of disease management ever since. Interferon β (IFNβ) was the first biologic approved after demonstrating decreased relapse rates, disease activity and progression of disability in clinical trials. However, frequent dosing schedules have limited patient acceptance for long-term therapy. Pegylation, the process by which molecules of polyethylene glycol are covalently linked to a compound, has been utilized to increase the half-life of IFNβ and decrease the frequency of administration required. To date, there has been one clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of pegylated IFN. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the role of IFN in the treatment of MS and evaluate the available evidence for pegylated IFN therapy in MS.

Keywords: interferon, pegylation, multiple sclerosis, relapsing–remitting, disease-modifying therapy

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