Mississauga biotech company Biogen Idec Canada announced today it has received approval from Health Canada for a first-line oral treatment for adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Patients take the drug, trademarked under the name TECFIDERA and formerly known as BG-12, to delay the progression of disability. This is the company’s fourth MS treatment made available in the Canada.
“With this new oral medication, Canadian patients have access to a disease-modifying treatment that offers convenient oral administration coupled with clinically proven effectiveness and favorable safety profile,” Lead clinical researcher and Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, Dr. Marcelo Kremenchutzky said in a statement.
“We believe TECFIDERA will raise expectations for what people living with MS can achieve from their therapy,” Biogen Idec Canada’s Managing Director Paul Petrelli said in a press release.
MS is an inflammatory disease that attacks the protective covering, or myelin, around the nerves of the central nervous system. MS occurs when the body’s immune cells attacks the nervous system along any area of the brain, optic nerve, and spinal cord. The result is nerve damage due to inflammation.
It’s estimated between 55,000 and 75,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with MS.
Biogen Idec Canada is an affiliate of Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Biogen Idec. The Canadian office was started in 1998 and is currently located in Mississauga on Burnhamthorpe Road West.