New MS drug will cut relapses by almost 50%

A new drug formulated for treating patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is capable of cutting down relapses by nearly 50% more than what the existing standard treatment for the condition can do, claims Roche, the manufacturer of the new MS drug called Ocrelizumab.

Patients have welcomed results for treatment offered by the Swiss pharmaceutical company, which suggests that the drug will also be able to treat the disease’s primary progressive form. Here, it must be mentioned that Roche has just announced the headline results for Ocrelizumab; it has not yet published the detailed outcomes of the trials.

Patients are happy to know about the results primarily because Roche is claiming that Ocrelizumab will be having a substantial impact on a particular form of multiple sclerosis called primary-progressive. Primary-progressive MS affects 10 to 15% of MS patients in the United Kingdom and right now, there’s no treatment for this form of MS. Roche is claiming that results of the trials have shown that the new drug is capable of cutting disability in patients with primary-progressive MS by almost 25%.

Nick Rijke, the executive director of the MS Society of the organization’s policy and research, said that the results put forward by the phase three trials of the drug will be providing a lot of hope for individuals suffering from primary-progressive MS. These people presently don’t have access to any treatment that can decelerate worsening of their symptoms.

Rijke added that for the people representing the MS Society primary goal is finding effective cures for the disease, which makes this finding by Roche an enormous moment for them. So far, Roche has announced only the top-line results offered by the trial. As a result, people like Rijke are right now eagerly waiting to see the results in details. Rijke said that he and his colleagues at the MS Society are hoping that this stirring outcome will be stimulating further progress in the process of defeating the disease.

During the trials, researchers compared ocrelizumab with Rebif. For those who don’t know: Rebif is an established drug manufactured by Merck and is capable of reducing MS relapses by around a third. Roche is claiming that during the two trials, ocrelizumab, which is yet to get a brand name, reduced annual declines respectively by 46% and 47% more than Rebif. The Swiss company is also claiming that it’s new MS drug caused fewer side effects than the established medication.