The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for Bayer HealthCare’s Betaconnect, an electronic autoinjector developed to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Beginning in early 2016, the autoinjector will be available exclusively to Betaseron (interferon beta-1b) patients.

Betaseron is a prescription medicine used to reduce the number of relapses in people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

This includes people who have had their first symptoms of multiple sclerosis and have an MRI consistent with multiple sclerosis.

“Offering new options to individuals with MS to help manage their disease is important since ‘one size does not fit all’ when considering MS treatment.”

Bayer neurology vice-president Klaus Marten said: “Bayer has a long legacy of supporting and providing services for the RRMS community.

“Betaseron was the first disease-modifying therapy approved by the FDA to treat RRMS patients, and today we are pleased to offer the first and only electronic auto injector for those living with the disease.”

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Betaconnect provides customisable injection speed and depth settings, which allow patients to inject softly with precision at the touch of a button.

The new electronic autoinjector has an optional back-up reminder function, which helps patients know about the time of their next injection.

Furthermore, the automatic needle insertion and retraction with a visual and audio end-of-dose indication will enable patients to know when the injection is being completed.

Multiple Sclerosis Association of America president Douglas Franklin said: “Offering new options to individuals with MS to help manage their disease is important since ‘one size does not fit all’ when considering MS treatment.”

The company noted that in the US, 400,000 people are suffering with RRMS and injectable beta-interferons are a prescribed class of immunomodulatory drugs for the disease.

Image: Bayer’s electronic autoinjector Betaconnect. Photo: courtesy of PRNewswire / Bayer HealthCare.