Biogen Idec Launches New AVONEX(R) Nurse Services Program



    -- Even More Dedicated Support for the MS Community from the # 1
Prescribed MS Therapy --

    CAMBRIDGE, MASS., April 26 /CNW/ - Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:   BIIB) announced
today the national launch of the new AVONEX(R) (Interferon beta-1a) Nurse
Services program which is designed to help people with multiple sclerosis (MS)
as they begin and continue treatment with AVONEX, the most prescribed
treatment for relapsing forms of MS worldwide. This new program is the latest
example of Biogen Idec's commitment to the MS community, which includes
offering the best support services to patients and undertaking innovative
research efforts to develop new therapeutic options.

    "As a person living with MS and as a nurse I can attest first-hand that
nurses play an important role in working closely with patients and their
healthcare providers in both the treatment and care of MS," said Marie
Stallbaum, RN, BSN, a nurse with the AVONEX Nurse Services Program. "Nurses in
this program will be dedicated to helping MS patients live the fullest and
most active lives possible."

    The AVONEX Nurse Services program will have registered nurses covering
the majority of the country who will provide a wide range of services that
will help patients in a home setting. Services include:

    --  At-home injection training and follow-up visit(s)

    --  Assistance in managing injection anxiety

    --  Management of disease expectations

    --  Tips for managing common side effects

    --  Valuable phone counseling

    "The AVONEX Nurse Services program is the latest example of our efforts
to provide the best care and support for patients," said Michael Panzara, MD,
MPH, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Neurology Strategic Business
Unit, Biogen Idec. "From our research efforts aimed at discovering new
treatment options to the unparalleled support services we offer patients,
Biogen Idec is committed to advancing the care of people living with MS."

    AVONEX has been proven to slow the progression of physical disability,
reduce the frequency of relapses, and is effective for patients who have their
first clinical MS attack and have a brain MRI scan that suggests MS. AVONEX is
also the only once-a-week therapy for MS.

    The clinical benefits of AVONEX have been supported by a number of recent
enhancements to the product's delivery. AVONEX can now be administered with a
smaller needle, which can further advance patient comfort. The storage and
transportation of AVONEX has been made even easier with the introduction of
ambient storage for the AVONEX luer-lock prefilled syringe. A new AVOGRIP(TM)
is available to aid patients in the administration of injections. These
improvements are part of the company's efforts to improve patients' experience
with AVONEX. In addition, AVONEX patients have shown significantly higher
adherence rates than the other approved disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).(1)

    About AVONEX

    AVONEX is the most prescribed treatment for relapsing forms of MS
worldwide, with more than 130,000 patients on therapy. It was launched in the
U.S. in 1996 and later in Europe for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS to
slow the progression of disability and reduce relapses. AVONEX is marketed
internationally in more than 90 countries. AVONEX was the first treatment
approved for patients who have their first clinical MS attack and have a brain
MRI scan consistent with MS; this use was approved in Europe in 2002 and in
the U.S. in 2003. The most common side effects associated with AVONEX multiple
sclerosis treatment are flu-like symptoms, including myalgia, fever, fatigue,
headache, chills, nausea, vomiting, pain and asthenia.

    AVONEX should be used with caution in patients with depression or other
mood disorders and in patients with seizure disorders. AVONEX should not be
used by pregnant women. Patients with cardiac disease should be closely
monitored. Patients should also be monitored for signs of hepatic injury.
Routine periodic blood chemistry and hematology tests are recommended during
treatment with AVONEX. Rare cases of anaphylaxis have been reported. Please
see complete prescribing information available at www.AVONEX.com.

    About Biogen Idec

    Biogen Idec creates new standards of care in therapeutic areas with high
unmet medical needs. Founded in 1978, Biogen Idec is a global leader in the
discovery, development, manufacturing, and commercialization of innovative
therapies. Patients in more than 90 countries benefit from Biogen Idec's
significant products that address diseases such as lymphoma, multiple
sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. For product labeling, press releases and
additional information about the company, please visit www.biogenidec.com.

    Safe Harbor/Forward-Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject
to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially from that which we expect. Important factors that could cause our
actual results to differ include the possibility that our competitors may
offer clinical benefits and treatment options that gain greater acceptance
than AVONEX, we may experience difficulty in hiring and retaining qualified
nurses or otherwise launching the AVONEX Nurse Services program and the other
risks and uncertainties that are described in our most recent Form 10-K or
10-Q filing with the SEC, including the "Risk Factors" section of such
filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this
press release, and we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update any
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events, or otherwise.

    (1) V. Devonshire et al. The Global Adherence Project (GAP) - A
Multicentre Observational Study on Adherence to Disease-Modifying Therapies in
Patients Suffering From Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Presented at
the 22nd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in
Multiple Sclerosis September 27-30, 2006 Madrid, Spain. Non-adherence was
defined as missing at least one injection or changing dose within four weeks
prior to the survey.




For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Biogen Idec Amy Brockelman
Associate Director, Public Affairs Ph: 617 914 6524 or INVESTMENT COMMUNITY
CONTACT: Eric Hoffman Associate Director, Investor Relations Ph: 617 679 2812

Organization Profile

BIOGEN IDEC

More on this organization


Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890