WASHINGTON - As in most FDA advisory committee meetings, last week's deliberations on Biogen Inc.'s Avonex interferon beta-1a covered topics that went beyond the panel's ultimate recommendation to approve the drug for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (see BioCentury Extra, Dec. 5).

Questions posed by the FDA and discussed at last week's meeting of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee touched on issues that could affect the design of future trials for MS and other conditions, including the use of MRI scans and videotaping, and the importance of studying the effect of neutralizing antibodies.