- Multiple sclerosis is a nervous disorder which affects the brain and the spinal cord.
- The efficacy and safety of Ocrelizumab drug were tested to provide treatment options for multiple sclerosis
- Ocrelizumab drug which selectively targets B type of immune cells showed promising results for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
New experimental drug Ocrelizumab shows positive results in the phase 3 clinical trials for multiple sclerosis. The drug was found to reduce the disease progression of multiple sclerosis.
The research study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive nervous disorder which affects the brain and the spinal cord. It is capable of damaging the myelin sheath (a material that protects the nerve cells) and slows down or blocks the message between the brain and the body.
The patients with progressive form of multiple sclerosis who were given ocrelizumab drug showed less medical evidence and brain scan evidence for disease progression when compared to patients who were given placebo drug. The Phase 3 clinical trials were done to test the safety and efficacy of the drug in human patients.
Among patients with relapsing form of multiple sclerosis, ocrelizumab drug showed low rates of disease progression and activity when compared to patients who received interferon beta 1a drug as a standard treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Ocrelizumab drug is under review for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to treat progressive and relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.
The research team also cautioned that long term safety and efficacy for drug has to be observed.
Dr. Jack Burks, chief medical consultant for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, said, "No treatments have been approved by the FDA for primary progressive MS."
He also said that only around 10% of the Multiple sclerosis population is diagnosed to have primary progressive forms of multiple sclerosis, but "this still represents tens of thousands of individuals who currently have no available treatment options."
Ocrelizumab drug is a human monoclonal antibody that is found to specifically target a type of immune cell called CD20- positive B cells. These cells are key contributors of myelin which is required to protect the nerve cells. The drug is administered in the form of an intravenous infusion for every 6 months.
Peter Chin, group medical director for neuroscience at Genetech, said, "B cells have been targeted in other disease states with other drugs (notably Genentech's Rituxan, which has been used to treat certain blood cancers and rheumatoid arthritis)."
Facts on Multiple Sclerosis
- Multiple sclerosis is a progressive form of a disorder that affects the central nervous system.
- Around 100,000 people in the United Kingdom have multiple sclerosis.
- More number of women are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when compared to men.
- People between the age of 20 and 30 are usually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
- Multiple sclerosis is not a genetic disorder, but patients are at a higher risk of having multiple sclerosis.
- Facts and myths about MS - (https://www.mstrust.org.uk/understanding-ms/what-ms/facts-and-myths-about-ms)
- Ocrelizumab - (https://www.mssociety.org.uk/ms-research/treatments-in-the-pipeline/ocrelizumab)
- Multiple Sclerosis - ( https://medlineplus.gov/multiplesclerosis.html )
- Multiple Sclerosis: Just the Facts - (https://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/Brochure-Just-the-Facts.pdf)