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Safety, Efficacy Trial Initiated for ABT-874 in Multiple Sclerosis

Abbott Park, Illinois, June 2, 2004 — Abbott Laboratories announced today the initiation of a study evaluating the potential of its investigational drug ABT-874 in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the body's immune system attacking the brain and spinal cord, the two components of the central nervous system.

ABT-874 is a fully human anti-interleukin-12 monoclonal antibody designed to target and neutralize IL-12, a protein that regulates inflammatory response and is expressed in MS lesions. ABT-874 is another promising result of the research being conducted at the Abbott Bioresearch Center in Worcester, Mass., a demonstrated leader in monoclonal antibody technology.

"We are optimistic that treatment with an IL-12 antibody may benefit patients suffering from autoimmune diseases like MS," said James B. Lefkowith, M.D., divisional vice president, development, Abbott Immunology. "MS is a debilitating disease, and we look forward to exploring the potential of ABT-874 as part of our continued immunology development program."

Trial Information
A global Phase II study has been initiated to evaluate the efficacy of ABT-874 in the treatment of multiple sclerosis through its ability to reduce brain lesions caused by the disease. The trial will include patients from sites in North America and Europe. Patients in the trial will be randomized to receive ABT-874 dosed weekly or every other week (eow) or placebo. The trial is 48 weeks in length – 24 weeks placebo-controlled followed by a 24-week active open-label extension.

More information about ABT-874 clinical trials can be obtained by calling Abbott Medical Information at 1-800-633-9110.

About ABT-874
ABT-874 is an investigational agent designed to target and neutralize interleukin-12 (IL-12), a protein that regulates inflammatory response. IL-12 is associated with a number of chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorders, including Crohn's disease and MS. In addition to MS, ABT-874 is also being studied in the treatment of Crohn's disease.

About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and potentially progressive disease of the central nervous system that is caused by damage to the nerve fibers and the protective material surrounding them. The damage to these fibers can result in problems ranging from mild numbness and difficulty walking to paralysis and blindness. In addition, the mental and physical symptoms of the disease may relapse, remit, and/or worsen over time. Much progress has been made in understanding the disease, but the exact cause is still unknown.

There are approximately 400,000 diagnosed cases of MS in the United States. MS typically begins in early adulthood and symptoms vary from person to person. The disease occurs in women twice as often as in men and although it is most commonly diagnosed in those between the ages of 20 and 50 years, it is occasionally diagnosed in children and older persons.

Source: Abbottt Laboratories

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