Upcoming medication for MS, Ocrelizumab

News Release and Information on Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab)


There is a new medication that hopefully be approved by the FDA and out on the market by the beginning of 2017. The name of this is Ocrevus or (Ocrelizumab). This week Genentech announced the FDA has accepted the filing application for Ocrevus for the treatment of Relapsing and Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and granted the application Priority Review Designation with a targeted action date of December 28, 2016.

Ocrevus is an investigational, humanized monoclonal antibody designed to selectively target CD20 – positive B Cells, a specific type of immune cell thought to be a key contributor to Myelin (nerve cell insulation and support and Axonal (nerve cell) damage which can lead to disability in people with MS. If this is approved it will be the ONLY treatment for both forms of MS. Lemtrada, the last FDA approved drug was approved last year for the relapsing form only. This is great news for all those with Progressive MS, whom have been waiting a long time for a medication to help them.

In the Phase 3 study, this drug significantly reduced disability progression and brain tissue damage in both forms of MS. Ocrevus is given by an IV infusion in the amount of 600 mg every 6 months – 300 mg 2 weeks apart. Right now this drug can be received by Neurologists who are providing it in a clinical trial, or EAP (Expanded Access Program). It will be given 6 months apart with IV Solumderol given prior to infusion; each infusion will last 4-5 hours. This drug is very similar to the medication, Rituximab, which is given for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is well tolerated, but 1 % does have serious reactions and some have increased infections and cancers especially in second year of the trial. It is my understanding there has been reported deaths due to infection in some trials. Immunoglobulin G serum will be followed.  I do want to remind you that with all medications, there are risks involved. Ocrevus is clearly more effective than Rebif in comparison. With this being a new medication, I cannot provide any long term data.  My doctor, Samuel Hunter MD, MS Specialist, is starting a clinical trial at the present time and seeking volunteers. All visits, medication, labs, and required tests are covered under this trial. If you are interested in being in his clinical trial, he is with Advanced Neurosciences Institute 101 Forrest Crossing Blvd, Ste 103, Franklin, TN, 37064, 615-791-5470. You must have progressive MS; age 18-55 who can walk at least 20 yards with a walker. There are also certain criteria which must be met to enter the trial regarding the MS and general health. Routine management of MS is not covered. For more information you can visit www.ClinicalTrials.gov and/or MSAA’s news article, “Eligible People with PPMS May Receive Experimental Medication.



Information provided by: A representative of Genentech and by Dr. Hunter MD.

MS Blogger and Multiple Sclerosis Activist shares her journey living with MS, tips for others living MS and her husband, Steve, offers his insight as a caregiver for MS.