FDA licenses ocrelizumab for both relapsing and primary progressive forms of MS. #MSBlog #NewsSpeak #Ocrelizumab
Yesterday was a pretty momentous day for people with MS (pwMS). The FDA licensed ocrelizumab for people with PPMS. The killjoys amongst you will say 'What? The efficacy of ocrelizumab is so small in PPMS that it won't make a difference'. My response to them would be 'Bullshit!' If you have PPMS you would no doubt be celebrating. When innovation happens it is often small and in incremental steps. The ocrelizumab in PPMS trial shows that we can modify the more advanced stages of MS. What you have to realise that the small differences over 2-3 years would become much larger over 5-10, and possibly 20, years. In addition, ocrelizumab was almost twice as effective in preserving arm and hand function (9HPT) when compared to lower limb function (EDSS and T25FW) in the PPMS trial. The latter is explained by our length-dependent axonopathy, therapeutic lag and asynchronous progressive MS hypotheses.
This should be a time for quite reflection, deep thought and then asking the question where next? I think most of us at Barts-MS would say we should be taking ocrelizumab into more advanced MS, including wheelchair users (#ThinkHand), and as a combination therapy with add-on neuroprotectants and drugs to target the intrathecal plasma cell.
CoI: multiple, I am a member of the phase 3 ocrelizumab steering committee
Labels: #NewsSpeak, FDA, ocrelizumab