European regulators have given the official go ahead for use of Serono’s multiple sclerosis drug Rebif after just one attack of the illness instead of two, in a move designed to align the product’s label with current medical use, the company said in a statement.

Current knowledge of the disease suggests it is important to start therapy at the point of diagnosis to ensure the best possible outcome for the patients.

“MS has an initial stage when clinical manifestations are not pronounced but irreversible neurological damage is taking place. This neurological damage determines the relative risk of progression of the disease,” explained Roberto Gradnik, Senior Executive Vice President Europe at Serono.“People with MS living in Europe will be able to benefit from the proven efficacy of Rebif (interferon beta-1a) as soon as MS is diagnosed, when it is needed most,” he added.

Rebif was approved in 1998 in Europe and 2002 in the USA, where it is co-marketed by drug giant Pfizer.