Ocrelizumab – a breakthrough?
December 23, 2016 at 8:47 pm
Ocrelizumab reduced the advance of MS-related disability by 24 & 47 percent in a clinical trial!
Ocrelizumab, under the brand name Ocrevus, is awaiting approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA had been set to approve the drug in December 2016, but recently extended its review into March 2017.
CIDP occurs when the immune system attacks the protective sheath that covers nerve fibers, which is composed of a fatty substance called myelin. Ocrelizumab treats the condition by depleting the B immune cells that produce antibodies to attack the myelin.
Ocrelizumab selectively targets CD20-positive B cells, a type of immune cell that can attack “self”. B cells are thought to be a key contributor to myelin (nerve cell insulation) and nerve cell damage, which can result in disability for patients with MS or CIDP. B cells have been targeted in other disease states with other drugs, notably Genentech’s Rituximab, which has been used to treat CIDP, certain blood cancers, and rheumatoid arthritis. Because Ocrelizumab attacks only B cells, other cells may remain unharmed and important functions of the immune system may be preserved.
The primary clinical trial can be found here:
It is being run by Hoffmann-La Roche (Genentech division) and is focused as a treatment for MS (because that disease has more potential revenue for them) but shows promise as a “breakthrough” treatment for GBS/CIDP too!
The reports from Genentech and the New England Journal of Medicine can be viewed here:
Stay tuned, we may have a new viable treatment option coming soon. This is a tremendous source of hope!
January 6, 2017 at 9:37 am
Thank you! As a RN I’ve been very frustrated by the lack of research into CIDP. I started out with GBS and then progressed to CIDP in Feb 2016. I’m not responding to IVIG infusions and my doctors are now talking about using Cyclosporine or High-dose cyclophosphamide.
March 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm
it looks like this drug was approved now by the FDA..
March 29, 2017 at 5:52 pm
Good to know this new treatment option is finally approved! Now we have to wait for our insurance companies to cover it. Otherwise we will acquire a new disease called bankruptcy lol!
March 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm
lol.. Jim no kidding.
March 30, 2017 at 8:20 am
Thank you for the update!!!
September 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm
Since I cant get insurance to cover Rituxan, wondering if there is any new information on making progress with Ocrevus and CIDP?
October 7, 2019 at 8:37 am
I have a dear friend with severe progressive MS. Over the years I’ve watched her go from an active person to someone confined to a wheelchair and unable to use her hands. Ocrevus is apparently ineffective against that form of the disease, and my friend has not received the drug in the two years since it was approved. It is effective against the relapsing/remitting form. That makes me hopeful it will eventually be used for CIDP, which of course is a relapsing/remitting neurological disease. The list price in the US is $65,000 for two infusions a year (that’s the standard way of giving it), but almost nobody pays that much.
October 7, 2019 at 3:59 pm
Genentech isn’t presently sponsoring any Clinical Trials of Ocrevus for treatment of CIDP. This may be due to the rarity of CIDP in comparison to MS and they may not have additional research funds available at this time for the extra research.
However, another new drug Rozanolixizumab (given subcutaneously) is being researched for use in treating CIDP. It is already being used to successfully treat cases of Myasthenia Gravis.
Rozanolixizumab has some similarities to Ocrelizumab in that it targets CD20-positive B cells, but in addition reduces Serum IgG and IgG Autoantibodies. The Clinical trial (partly being conducted at USC-Keck in Los Angeles) is here:
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