Publication Date



Multiple Sclerosis Journal


BACKGROUND: Glatiramer acetate (GA) is US-approved for relapsing multiple sclerosis.

OBJECTIVES: To describe GA long-term clinical profile. To compare effectiveness of early start (ES) versus delayed start (DS; up to 3 years) with GA.

METHODS: Phase 3 trial participants entered a randomized placebo-controlled period then an open-label extension (OLE) with GA.

RESULTS: Overall, 208 out of 251 (82.9%) randomized participants entered the OLE; 24 out of 101 (23.8%, ES) and 28 out of 107 (26.2%, DS) participants completed the OLE. Median GA treatment was 9.8 (0.1-26.3) years. Annualized change in Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was lower with ES versus DS (

CONCLUSION: GA long-term treatment maintained clinical benefit with a similar safety profile to phase 3 results; a key limitation was that only 25% of participants completed the OLE. Early initiation of GA had sustained benefits versus delayed treatment.


Clinical trial, disease-modifying therapies, glatiramer acetate, multiple sclerosis, quality of life, relapsing/remitting

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