ECTRIMS 2010 Update: Phase 2 Ocrelizumab Results in RRMS

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Ocrelizumab (anti-CD20) that targets B-cells was given as two treatment cycles, 6 months apart, in a phase 2 study in relapsing-remitting MS. It reduced MRI activity by ~90% (median T1 Gd-lesions at wk 24: placebo 1.6, 600mg 0.0, 2000mg 0.0, Avonex 1.0; p<0.0001 vs placebo) and annualised relapse rate by up to 80% (ARR: placebo 0.61, 600mg 0.18 (RRR 80%), 2000mg 0.2 (RRR 72%), Avo 0.4). Importantly the overall adverse event profile looks good (AEs: placebo 70%, 600mg 61%, 2000mg 65%, Avonex 55%). Infusion reactions typically disappeared at the day 15 infusion and there were no opportunistic infections. Worryingly there was one death in the high dose Ocrelizumab group at 14 weeks, from "systemic inflammatory response syndrome". These very impressive results need to be tempered against the death that we must assume is due to Ocrelizumab. Nevertheless this study demonstrates the importance of B cells in the pathogenesis of MS; the latter needs further exploration and may ultimately lead to a safer and even more effective therapy.

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

4 comments

  • Anything else to report from Ectrims 2010?

    How does Ocrelizumab differ from Rituximab? – the latter showed promise as an MS treatment, but seems to have fallen off the radar.

  • First anonymous- They both have the same targets, i.e. both are anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (MAb). However, Rituximab is a chimeric MAb (fusion with mouse protein) whereas Ocrelizumab is is humanised MAb. Making it humanised reduces unwanted immune reactions to the drug.

  • Chronic pain should be controlled in a fast and effective, so doctors prescribe painkillers such as Vicodin, hydrocodone, norco which are medicines that have side effects but are used to control chronic pain.

    Lilly Abbott.
    Findrxonline

  • Just know that they must fight against this disease causes pain that gnaws me thinking, because there are millions of people in United States who struggle daily against the pain and only seek solace in painkillers such as hydrocodone, norco, which helps them to Mitges your pain.

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