New drug, Ocrelizumab, shown to be effective in relapsing-remitting and progressive MS (Multiple Sclerosis)Reported on the MS Society Web Site, Ocrelizumab is an intravenous infusion treatment that has been developed by Hoffmann-La Roche. Top-line results have been announced from a phase 3 clinical trial looking at the use of ocrelizumab in primary progressive MS and phase 3 clinical trials for relapsing MS were announced as complete in June 2015.

This new drug offers new hope to the thousands of people who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. Reported little snippet was broadcast on Sky News recently. This caught my attention because it was mooted to treat a progressive form of the disease.

Perhaps because of the Sky coverage, I was more receptive to a similar report by the BBC.


Ocrelizumab by Roche

Ocrelizumab shows Significant Improvement

The drug Ocrelizumab manufactured by Roche has been shown, in three major studies, to have game-changing results in treating both the relapse-remitting and progressive forms of MS (Multiple Scelerosis).

Ocrelizumab has been found to have significant effects on both forms of the disease.

B-cells, one of two forms of immune cells that are thought to cause degeneration of nerve cells. Thereby resulting in typical autoimmune disease symptoms.

Results have been presented to the European Committee for Treatment Research in Multiple Sclerosis. These show the drug reduced the rate of clinical disability in primary progressive MS by 24%.

New drug shown to be effective in relapse-remitting and progressive MS

Furthermore, in the relapsing-remitting form of the disease, it halved the frequency of relapses. And, was more effective at delaying the onset of disability than Beta Interferon. One of the main drugs currently used for MS is Beta Interferon.

The manufacturers, Roche, are now expected to apply for a medicines licence from the regulatory authorities.

The watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), will then assess the drug. To determine whether it is cost effective for use on the NHS.

Professor Gavin Giovannoni, of Barts and The London School of Medicine, said: “The results are a game changer for the clinical community.

“The important next step is for regulators to enable treatment to be provided as soon after diagnosis as possible. To provide optimal outcomes, with the potential to improve patients’ quality of life in the long-term.”

Personally, I find this very encouraging news. I was diagnosed with RRMS in 1994 and now believe the disease has advanced to SPMS. As my condition is only likely to deteriorate any possible pharmaceutical treatments will be welcome.

Although welcoming any new pharmaceutical breakthrough, I still make it my objective to reduce my reliance on any drug intervention at all.

Ocrelizumab is still under trial. So, it is likely to be several years before it is approved. And, even longer before, if it is deemed to be cost-effective, and made available on the NHS.



Research: B Cell Depletion Inhibits MS Barts MS Blog

Drug Dramatically Cuts Progress Of MS: Trial Sky News

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That’s an encouraging news for MS treatment. Hope There will be follow up report on the clinical trials.


It is the first drug that has sounded positive for quite some time. As usual getting approval may take years.


When I experience nsunbems, rest is the only thing I’ve found to help. Like yourself, I like to stay busy, versus resting. I work very hard to minimize stress in my life. In October I’m going to run Whistle Stop in Ashland, WI. In two week two of my friends are flying to San Diego to run the Rock & Roll Marathon. Both of them are attempting to qualify for Boston, and I know they will do it. One of them is my trainer, and seeing his dedication to his own goals has helped me continue to work hard on… Read more »


I take my hat off to you. Doctors are for ever advising exercise as being critical to good health and I absolutely concur but, exercise is so often difficult when MS leaves you fatigued and drained. Also my understanding is that exercise can overwork nerves as well as muscles which is what exacerbates MS.

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