Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Multiple sclerosis

Ocrelizumab cuts relapse rates and disability progression in MS

Researchers found ocrelizumab to be more effective than interferon beta-1a for treating relapsing MS

Patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) often continue to have disease activity and disability progression in spite of treatment with disease-modifying drugs, creating a need for new therapies.

Two identical phase III trials, published in The New England Journal of Medicine (online, 19 January 2017), compared the efficacy of ocrelizumab (600mg every 24 weeks), a monoclonal antibody that targets B immune cells, with subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (44μg three times weekly) in 1,656 patients with relapsing MS[1].

Over 96 weeks, the annualised relapse rate was 0.16 in ocrelizumab-treated patients compared with 0.29 in interferon-treated patients in both trials (P<0.001). Ocrelizumab was also associated with a lower rate of disability progression than interferon at 12 and 24 weeks.

Another trial, concurrently published in The New England Journal of Medicine[2], showed that ocrelizumab also reduced rates of 12-week disability progression from 39.3% with placebo to 32.9% in patients with primary-progressive MS.

Extended follow-up in both forms of the disease is needed to confirm the long-term risk-benefit profile of ocrelizumab, the research teams conclude.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2017.20202253

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Woman in wheelchair pushed by a man

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.