Multiple sclerosis: Roche’s Ocrelizumab promises to be an effective treatment drug

Pharmaceutical company Roche has revealed that several late-stage trials run for its multiple sclerosis drug, Ocrelizumab, have proven to be more promising and highly effective in not only treating the chronic condition, but also in reversing its progression.

Medical doctors are not certain of what causes multiple sclerosis, but they are sure some people are genetically predisposed to have it, and when certain environmental factors come into play, they trigger the development of the disease.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic and progressive nervous disorder involving loss of myelin sheath around certain nerve fibers; or in simple terms, it is a disorder that sets the immune system to start attacking the protective coverings of nerves, thereby leading to the full-blown disease.

The disease ultimately causes a degeneration of the nervous system, and the scars made along the nerves in the immune system make it impossible for the nervous system to transmit signals to other parts of the body, leading to communication disruption.

Multiple sclerosis according to doctors is not life-threatening, but it can cause minor symptoms such as pain, muscle stiffness, discomforts, and trouble with basic motor skills; but in chronic cases, it can affect speech patterns, bowel movement, cognitive functioning, and make a patient bedridden.

Ocrelizumab contains a monoclonal antibody, and it deals directly with targets than competing drugs have been able to do. Most patients tested with the drug during the trial phase witnessed a 24% decrease in the progression of the disease over a 12-week period, and they experienced a 25% reduction over a 24-week period.

About 1,656 participants were recruited for the first two trials of the drug, and the overall performance of Ocrelizumab proved to be far more efficient than earlier known. In a third trial, 732 patients were put to a test and monitored over a period, and Ocrelizumab treated and slowed down the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Although 10% of patients trialed experienced side effects during tests, Ocrelizumab still promised to be far better that currently available drug Rebif. Studies say nearly 400,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis in the US, and Roche’s Ocrelizumab may be the ultimate treatment solution given its performance so far.