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Sunday

 

Experimental MS treatment shows great promise, studies say

Orcelizumab is an investigational, humanized monoclonal antibody designed to target CD20-positive B cells that shows great promise for treating multiple sclerosis.

Roche, a research-based healthcare company, is announcing positive results for three studies of experimental therapy ocrelizumab in relapsing multiple sclerosis and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) patients. The results indicate that the innovative new therapy may represent an effective therapeutic option for progressive forms of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that has no known cure. It is estimated to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

Relapsing multiple sclerosis is the most common type of MS, affecting approximately 85 percent of MS patients. Primary progressive MS is characterized by worsening symptoms, affecting some 10 percent of MS patients. There currently are no approved treatments for PPMS.

Orcelizumab is an investigational, humanized monoclonal antibody designed to target CD20-positive B cells. This particular group of immune cells has been shown to damage myelin, the protective sheath that covers neurons. If myelin is destroyed or damaged, an individual experiences motor function impairment, irreversible neurological disability, and paralysis.

The new therapy was tested in three major clinical trials–OPERA I, OPERA II, and ORATORIO.

The OPERA I and OPERA II studies tested the drug in patients with relapsing MS. The drug proved more effective in reducing three key markers of the disease, in comparison to interferon beta-1a (Rebif), a well-established MS therapy.

ORATORIA focused on patients with PPMS. Ocrelizumab significantly reduced disease progression–particularly patient’s disability–when compared to the placebo control group. Positive results were achieved in reducing the time required to walk 25 feet, the volume of chronic inflammatory brain lesions, and brain volume loss.

“The results of these three pivotal trials have the potential to transform the treatment of MS,” says Sandra Horning, M.D., Roche’s Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Product Development, in a statement reported by Multiple Sclerosis News Today. “Ocrelizumab is the first investigational medicine to significantly reduce disability progression in people with relapsing MS and people with primary MS–a form of MS with no approved treatments. We are eager to work with regulatory authorities to bring this investigational medicine to the MS community as soon as possible.”

Roche is seeking marketing authorization for ocrelizumab in both relapsing MS and PPMS.


Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by SCIENCERECORDER
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