Genentech's Ocrevus Reduces Disease Progression in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

June 23, 2017

A phase 3 clinical trial of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis and primary progressive multiple sclerosis found that Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) significantly reduced disease progression, according to results released by Genentech.

A phase 3 clinical trial of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) found that Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) significantly reduced disease progression, according to results released by Genentech.

The trial measured Ocrevus’ effects through the composite multiple sclerosis (MS) endpoint No Evidence of Progression or Active Disease (NEPAD), which represents the point when the patient has no relapses or disease or disability progression.

The researchers found a significant decrease in disease and disability progression in RMS and PPMS patients with the use of Ocrevus. For RMS patients, there was an 82% increase in patients maintaining NEPAD with the use of Ocrevus compared with the results of the phase 3 OPERA I and II studies of the drug Rebif. Ocrevus also more tripled the number of patients who maintained NEPAD among PPMS patients compared to the placebo results in the phase 3 ORATORIO study.

“These results underline that the significant effects of Ocrevus on disability progression are clinically meaningful,” noted Ludwig Kappos, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology at the University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland. “Slowing disability progression, or preventing people with MS from having to use a cane or wheelchair, makes a great difference to their daily lives. It is particularly exciting to see these benefits in people with PPMS, a disabling form of MS without approved treatments in Europe.”

During a post-hoc analysis of the OPERA studies, the researchers discovered a decreased risk of RMS patients losing the ability to walk long distances without assistance with Ocrevus utilization. The risk of becoming wheelchair bound with PPMS was also reduced with Ocrevus during the ORATORIO study compared with the use of the placebo.

Genentech plans to formally announce these results at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology on June 24 to June 27 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.