Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis Drug Shows Promise in Phase 3 Trials

Ocrevus is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets CD20-positive B cells in MS patients.

Positive data from three phase 3 studies for the investigational drug multiple sclerosis drug ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) will be presented by Genentech during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting this week.

Ocrevus is an experimental, humanized monoclonal antibody designed to target CD20-positive B cells. The treatment showed superior efficacy over interferon beta-1a (Rebif) in patients suffering from relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).

“The data being presented at AAN show that ocrelizumab significantly reduced disability progression and brain tissue damage in both relapsing and primary progressive forms of MS,” said Sandra Horning, MD, chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development at Genentech. “The analyses demonstrate ocrelizumab’s consistent effect across important measures of disease activity and provide further insights into the clinical effect of ocrelizumab in people with MS.”

Additionally, results of a novel endpoint — No Evidence of Disease Activity (NEDA) – will be presented from the studies in relapsing MS at the Clinical Trials Plenary Session.

NEDA measures disease activity and assesses the level of disease control. Patients with no relapses, disability progression, or new or enlarging MRI lesions over a specific period of time were considered to have achieved NEDA.

In February, the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to Ocrevus for the treatment of primary progressive MS.