MS Drug - Ocrevus
Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) has received approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating relapsing MS and primary progressive MS. Eligible patients have been given ocrevus at Holy Name's MS Center through clinical trials but it will also be available to other MS patients, probably within a few months. Ocrevus is an intravenous medication that is administered three times yearly.
In clinical trials, three markers were used to determine the medication's effectiveness - decrease in relapse rates, reduced MRI activity and a slowing of disability progression. The FDA's approval is based on these trials showing ocrevus significantly reduced disease progression in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis by 24 percent, sustained for at least 12 weeks. Studies also found that ocrevus helped reduce the annual relapse rate in patients with relapsing MS by nearly 50 percent over a 2-year period.
Clinical trials involving ocrevus at Holy Name will continue and patients will see no disruption in their participation. Other patients with both relapsing and progressive types of MS who are felt to be appropriate candidates for the drug will be notified by staff members to come in for a consultation. Please keep in mind the drug will not be immediately available for infusion and insurance approval will also take time.