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<jats:p> We have analysed data on exacerbation rates, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, and lesion burdens using the results of two neutralizing antibody (NA B) assays (C PE and MxA) from the pivotal relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) trial of interferon beta-1b (IFNB) with a longitudinal appro ach, where the influence of NA Bs in individual patients is assessed by comparing responses during NAB- positive and NA B-negative periods. There are apparent influences on exacerbation rate related to dose of IFNB, titer level, and duration of positivity. With the MxA assay, exacerbation rates after switching to NA B-positive status are estimated to be 28% higher [95% confidence interval (CI): (-15%, 92%)] and -2% higher [95% CI: (-21%, 21%)] on the low- and high-dose IFNB arms, respectively. When compared with all NA B-negative periods, exacerbation rates during NA B-positive periods are estimated to be 29% higher [95% C I: (0%, 67%)] and 18% higher [95% CI: (0%, 40%)] on the low- and high-dose IFNB arms, respectively. When NA B-positive patients again become NA B-negative, no evidence of increased exacerbation rates could then be demonstrated. More detailed exploratory analyses indicate that the effects are most evident in the approximately 20% of patients developing high titers. In these patients, the influence of NABs may be self-limited, as titers often diminish or NA Bs become undetectable with time. </jats:p>

Original publication




Journal article


Multiple Sclerosis Journal


SAGE Publications

Publication Date





126 - 138