A Phase III study has shown a new drug called Ocrelizumab that may reduce the progression of disability in those with both Relapsing-Remitting and Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. This is especially encouraging for those with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis as there is little treatment currently available.
Developed by pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG known for their breakthrough cancer treatments. Ocrelizumab is a 600 mg intravenous infusion administered as two 300 mg infusions two weeks apart every six months.
According to Roche, “Ocrelizumab is an investigational, humanised monoclonal antibody designed to selectively target CD20-positive B cells. The treatment binds to CD20 cell surface proteins expressed on certain B cells, but not on stem cells or plasma cells, resulting in the preservation of the immune system’s key functions.”
Disability in MS is measured using the The Kurtzke Disability Status Scale (DSS) that was developed by Dr. John Kurtzke in the 1950s. It highlights the eight functional systems affected by multiple sclerosis.
- Pyramidal (motor function) (P)
- Cerebellar (C11)
- Brainstem (BS)
- Sensory (S)
- Bowel and Bladder (BB)
- Visual (V)
- Cerebral or Mental (Cb)
- Other (O)
Every year, MS drugs rake in around $20 billion from those with RRMS. Deutsche Bank’s Tim Race told Reuters the medication could generate annual sales of around $5 billion.
The Switzerland-based company will submit an application for approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory agencies to use Ocrelizumab to treat Relapsing-Remitting and Progressive MS in early 2016 with a possible release of the drug in 2017.
Are you hopeful about Ocrelizumab?
Melissa Bilecky is 23 years old and lives in New Jersey. She graduated in 2014 from Felician College with a B.A. in Communications and minor in Psychology and was an intern at a rock radio station, WDHA, for four months before graduating. She also was the manager of her school’s radio station, WRFC, for three years where she also hosted several radio shows.