Multi-study data confirms Ocrevus’ long-term efficacy in reducing disability progression in multiple sclerosis

pharmafile | September 13, 2019 | News story | Medical Communications, Research and Development ECTRIMS, Ocrevus, Roche, multiple sclerosis, pharma 

Roche has taken the opportunity at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) conference in Stockholm to reveal new longer-term data from three Phase 3 trials demonstrating that the ability of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) to reduce the risk of disability progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients was sustained over a period of years

It was shown that continuous treatment with Ocrevus for six years or more led to reduced risk of disability progression in relapsing MS (RMS) and primary progressive MS (PPMS).

One study illustrated that 19% of RMS patients had 24-week confirmed disability progression (CDP) after six years of continuous treatment with Ocrevus, compared to 24% for patients who switched to the drug after two years of treatment with interferon beta-1a therapy.   

Additionally, interim analysis data showed that 87% of patients who switched to Ocrevus after failure to secure an adequate response with one or two other disease modifying treatments after six months had no disease activity after treatment for 48 weeks with Roche’s drug. In the same study, patients reported greater satisfaction with Ocrevus after one year after switching from another disease modifying therapy.

In PPMS patients, 52% of patients treated with Ocrevus over 6.5 years saw 24-week CDP, compared to 65% who switched to the drug from placebo. Also in the patient population, continuous treatment with Ocrevus “significantly reduced” upper limb disability progression according to the nine-hole peg test, while earlier intervention with the drug led to 42% fewer patients needing a wheelchair over 6.5 years compared to those who switched to Ocrevus after two years.

New safety data from 4,611 RMS and PPMS patients and representing 14,329 patient years of Ocrevus exposure was also unveiled, which remained consistent with previous findings.

“The effect of MS therapies on progression – not just relapses – is very important to help reduce the impact of the disease on the daily lives of people with MS and their families,” said Professor Gavin Giovannoni, Consultant Neurologist at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. “The Ocrevus data at ECTRIMS highlight that the benefit of delaying, and possibly preventing, disability progression is greater when the treatment is used earlier in the disease course for both relapsing and primary progressive forms of MS. These data support the aphorism, ‘time really is brain and spinal cord in multiple sclerosis.’”

Matt Fellows

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