Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus): the treatment that slows multiple sclerosis

There is no doubt that science, and medicine, are advancing more and more not only in understanding how a certain disease can appear but in understanding why it develops and what are the causes that influence it. In this sense, progress is also being made in the development of new drugs and medicines.

It is the case of Ocrelizumab, a drug that has become the first capable of modifying the progression of primary progressive multiple sclerosis, and a medical and therapeutic option for the so-called active recurrent multiple sclerosis.

Recently we have learned that finally the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has just authorized its use for the treatment of patients diagnosed with progressive primary multiple sclerosis (especially if it is early), and with active forms of multiple sclerosis in outbreaks (EMR).

What is Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus®)?

Ocrelizumab is the active principle of Ocrevus®, a drug developed by the pharmaceutical Roche, which has become one of the first available therapies capable of combating primary progressive multiple sclerosis (EMPP), as well as active forms of multiple sclerosis in outbreaks (EMR).

Specifically, is able to control the progression of the disease in patients with PPMS and is the first indicated as a treatment for relapsing and remitting forms of the disease.

It has a new mechanism of action that acts on CD20 + B cells, a specific type of immune cells, which have been shown to play an important role in the pathogenesis of this disease, intervening both in the deterioration of myelin and in the axons of neurons.

Why is it so important for medical treatment?

It is a breakthrough in the medical treatment of this disease, since the drug has been shown to be capable of slow the progression of disability and injuries related to the disease.

For its approval to be possible in Europe, three clinical trials have been carried out with 2,388 patients - in phase III. In them the drug has been shown to be able to reduce the progression of disability by 24% after 3 months of treatment (it reached 25% in 6 months), and decrease the most visible signs of brain activity of the disease.

Does it have side effects?

As with any drug or medication, Ocrelizumab has a series of side effects that must be taken into account. In the case of the clinical trials carried out, the most frequent side effect that was observed was upper respiratory infections, as well as reactions to intravenous infusion. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor.

How Ocrevus works in Multiple Sclerosis (February 2023)