Biogen Idec

Biogen Idec
Elan Corporation, plc

March 04, 2005 08:05 ET

Biogen Idec and Elan Announce Update on Tysabri-R-






MARCH 4, 2005 - 08:05 ET

Biogen Idec and Elan Announce Update on Tysabri-R-

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & DUBLIN, Ireland--(CCNMatthews - Mar 4, 2005) -

Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE:ELN)
announced today an update on the voluntary suspension in the marketing
of TYSABRI® (natalizumab), a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS).

-- On February 28, 2005, the companies reported that they had suspended
marketing of TYSABRI based on one confirmed case and one suspected case
of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and
frequently fatal, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system.
The investigator has now changed the status of the second case from
suspected to confirmed. The companies are continuing to examine these
two cases. As indicated in the announcement on February 28, 2005, both
patients received more than two years of TYSABRI therapy in combination
with AVONEX® (Interferon beta-1a).

-- To date, the companies have received no reports of PML in patients
receiving TYSABRI monotherapy for MS or in patients with Crohn's disease
or rheumatoid arthritis. Biogen Idec has not received any reports of PML
in patients treated with AVONEX alone, a product on the market since

-- Biogen Idec and Elan will work with clinical investigators to
evaluate TYSABRI-treated patients and will consult with leading experts
to better understand the possible risk of PML. Based on the full results
of these evaluations, the companies, in consultation with regulatory
authorities, will determine the appropriate next steps.

In addition, Biogen Idec and Elan have undertaken to provide information
to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with the
voluntary suspension in the marketing of TYSABRI. The companies are
cooperating with the agency regarding these matters.

About Biogen Idec

Biogen Idec creates new standards of care in oncology and immunology. As
a global leader in the development, manufacturing, and commercialization
of novel therapies, Biogen Idec transforms scientific discoveries into
advances in human healthcare. For product labeling, press releases and
additional information about the company, please visit

About Elan

Elan Corporation, plc is a neuroscience-based biotechnology company. We
are committed to making a difference in the lives of patients and their
families by dedicating ourselves to bringing innovations in science to
fill significant unmet medical needs that continue to exist around the
world. Elan shares trade on the New York, London and Dublin Stock
Exchanges. For additional information about the company, please visit

Safe Harbor/Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the
potential for TYSABRI. These statements are based on the companies'
current beliefs and expectations, and are subject to risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially.
There is no assurance, for example, that the serious adverse events
discussed above were not caused by TYSABRI, that there are not or will
not be more such serious adverse events or that we will be able to gain
sufficient information to fully understand the risks associated with the
product. There is also no assurance that the companies will be able to
resume marketing and sales of TYSABRI. For more detailed information on
the risks and uncertainties associated with TYSABRI and the companies'
drug development and other activities, see the periodic and other
reports of Biogen Idec Inc. and Elan Corporation, plc filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies assume no obligation
to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.


Contact Information

    Media Contacts:
    Biogen Idec
    Amy Brockelman, 617-914-6524
    Anita Kawatra, 212-407-5740 or 800-252-3526
    Investor Contacts:
    Biogen Idec
    Elizabeth Woo, 617-679-2812
    Emer Reynolds, 353 1 709 4000 or 800-252-3526