Exactly how it works is not known, although the drug has a role in regulating the immune system, and appears to slow down the excessive activity of immune system cells (T cells and monocytes) implicated in damage to the protective myelin sheath surrounding the nerves.
There are two types of Beta Interferon: Beta-1b or Betaseron, made by Schering, has been available in the US since July 1993. It will be known as Beneseron in Europe. A British licence is expected sometime this year.
Beta-1a, known as Rebif and made by Ares Serono, is undergoing trials in the UK, Europe and Canada. It is expected to be available in the UK in 1996-97. (Another type of Beta-1a made by Biogen is also undergoing trials in the US.)Reuse content