Biogen Idec and partner Elan Corp has boosted by a new study which says that multiple sclerosis patients treated with the firm’s Tysabri showed a significant improvement in health-related quality-of-life measures when compared to placebo.

Biogen noted that these results are from the first Phase III multiple sclerosis studies that have demonstrated improvement on HRQoL measures in patients with relapsing forms of the disease and are published in today's issue of Annals of Neurology.

The companies said that these two-year, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre, Phase III clinical trials, AFFIRM and SENTINEL, were conducted in 2,113 patients with relapsing forms of MS. The objective was to assess the relationship between disease activity and HRQoL in relapsing forms of MS, and the impact of Tysabri (natalizumab) on these measures.

“These data showed that patients treated with Tysabri were more likely to experience statistically important improvement in the quality-of-life measures used to assess meaningful disease improvement or progression. These findings have not been previously observed in clinical studies involving MS patients," said Richard Rudick, lead investigator of the study.

The firms are on a bit of a roll regarding Tysabri following the news earlier this month that a US advisory panel recommended that the drug can also be used to treat Crohn's disease.