Ocrelizumab Outperforms Rebif
Ocrelizumab is an anti-CD20 antibody therapy given as an infusion every 6 months. Ocrelizumab temporarily knocks out B cells, an important immune cell involved in causing damage in multiple sclerosis. Two Phase 3 clinical trials (OPERA I and II) were conducted to evaluate ocrelizumab in relapsing multiple sclerosis. In both trials, patients were randomized to Rebif or ocrelizumab 600 mg intravenously every 24 weeks. Only the first dose of ocrelizumab was divided into 300 mg on Day 1 and Day 15. OPERA I and II randomized 821 and 835 patients, respectively.
Treatment with ocrelizumab significantly reduced the number of relapses per year (annualized relapse rate), the risk of disability progression and reduced the number of brain lesions compared to Rebif treatment. Results were just announced in a press release. Exact difference will be presented at a future scientific meeting.
The most common side effects of ocrelizumab were mild-to-moderate infusion-related reactions. The incidence of serious infections on ocrelizumab was similar to Rebif.
The MS Center for Innovations in Care was a site for the OPERA clinical program.
BY: Barry Singer, MD DATE: June 30, 2015 TOPIC: MS Research News