Merck KGaA announced today the launch of the innovative individually adjustable electronic injection device RebiSmart for the self-administration of Rebif (interferon beta-1a), the company’s disease-modifying drug used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). RebiSmart is the first device of its kind in this indication and was specifically designed for ease of handling and use.
The unique features of RebiSmart also introduce the potential for improved treatment adherence, helping patients receive the full benefit from their treatment.
RebiSmart is used with Rebif multidose cartridges, each of which contains one week’s worth of medicine. Interactive, on-screen instructions and signals guide patients through the injection process, individually adjustable comfort settings give patients more flexibility with injection duration and depth, helping minimise discomfort and pain.
“Making injection more comfortable for the patient is important to ensure optimal treatment outcomes in multiple sclerosis,” said Dr Virginia Devonshire, Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
“The first electronic injection device in MS is an innovative approach and could contribute to increasing patient adherence to therapy.”
RebiSmart is the first and only injection device in MS that records the date, time and dosage of each injection so that an accurate history of dosing can be viewed and discussed with the patient, allowing physicians to monitor and improve patient
adherence to therapy. The dose history can be downloaded and viewed on a personal computer, thus also enabling the upload to patient registries in order to evaluate outcomes data in MS.
“The introduction of RebiSmart underscores our commitment to continuous advancements in multiple sclerosis treatments, in this case providing patients with an easy-to-use and innovative delivery system,” said Dr Roberto Gradnik, Executive Vice President Commercial Europe of the division Merck Serono.
“Patients and healthcare professionals were involved in the design of RebiSmart, and their feedback was extremely valuable for developing an innovative device that really meets their needs.”
RebiSmart has been approved in Canada and Europe. It was first launched in the United Kingdom and is also available in Canada now. Further launches will follow on a country-by-country basis. Two strengths of the multidose cartridge, 132 micrograms (three doses of 44 micrograms) and 66 micrograms (three doses of 22 micrograms), were approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) in January 2009.
RebiSmart also facilitates use by patients starting treatment through its automatic pre-programmed titration setting. In May 2009, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the scientific committee of the EMEA, issued a positive opinion for the storage of the multidose cartridge at temperatures up to 25 °C for 2 weeks.