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New MS Drug Could Treat Both Progressive and Relapsing Forms

September 29, 2015

Switzerland's Roche has long focused on producing cancer treatment drugs, but it now has shifted its focus to MS treatment, following the successful development of ocrelizumab. They have a potential multi-billion dollar drug that is the first injectable antibody to show positive results in both the progressive form and more common relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

This obviously has caught the attention of doctors, and it's been said that the drugs proficiency in treating PPMS could lead to sales possibly exceeding $5 billion. The drug-maker now plans to file for regulatory approval for both forms of MS in early 2016, implying ocrelizumab could reach the market around a year later.

Results from a Phase III study of the drug in PPMS showed that treatment with ocrelizumab significantly reduced the progression of clinical disability and the effect was sustained for at least 12 weeks.

The incidence of serious adverse events associated with ocrelizumab, including serious infections, was also similar to placebo. Roche, is confident its new drug has a better balance of efficacy and safety than rivals.

Ocrelizumab is delivered twice-yearly via an intravenous drip. As an antibody-based medicine it is likely to be expensive but Roche, the world's biggest cancer drugs company, has not yet given any indications on price. Preliminary data from the PPMS clinical trial will be presented at the annual congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis on Oct. 10.

Source: http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/09/28/us-roche-multiple-sclerosis-idINKCN0RS0KL20150928