Biogen, AbbVie withdraw multiple sclerosis drug Zinbryta

(Reuters) – Biogen Inc and AbbVie Inc have withdrawn their multiple sclerosis (MS) drug worldwide due to safety issues, the companies said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Biogen facility in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S. January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

The withdrawal of marketing authorizations for the drug, Zinbryta, followed reports of inflammation of the membranes of the brain in some patients.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had initiated a regulatory procedure to minimize the risk of serious liver injury due to the drug.

Zinbryta, a self-administered, under-the-skin injection designed to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis was approved by U.S. regulators in 2016 and raked in sales of $53 million last year.

Biogen’s 2017 earnings were slightly impacted by the impairment of Zinbryta-related assets as a result of the EMA warning.

Due to the risks, Zinbryta was generally used in patients who had tried two or more MS medicines that have not worked well enough.

Biogen said it would continue to work with regulatory authorities to withdraw the drug from the market.

Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Shounak Dasgupta

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