Forty years ago, one of Dr. Stephen Hauser’s first patients was a young Harvard Law School graduate and White House aide with a case of multiple sclerosis that raced like a brush fire through her brain. She quickly lost her ability to speak, swallow, and breathe. She got married in a wheelchair in her hospital room, tethered to breathing and feeding tubes and dressed in her wedding gown.
“We had nothing to treat her with,” recalled Hauser, now director of the Weill Institute for Neurosciences at the University of California, San Francisco. It was such a searing moment for the young doctor, then at the beginning of his neurology training, that he decided to dedicate his career to MS research.
On Tuesday night — after decades of false starts, struggles to persuade disbelieving colleagues, and a tortuous path through the maze of drug discovery — Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved its new drug for MS based on Hauser’s research. Researchers say the medication is a significant improvement over other treatments for the debilitating disease, which afflicts more than 400,000 Americans and by some estimates more than 2 million more patients worldwide.
Agree with Pharmvet1, but silence on SPMS testing. Researchers still stymied by SPMS. Best results yet demonstrated by Peptide/Thymosin Therapy but Big Pharm not interested.
Only 10% of MS cases are primary progressive. The real cash cow will be the secondary progressive market, of which I have no doubt that this drug will be used for and insurers will be pressured to cover. 85% of MS is off the relapsing remitting type and most of these patients eventually develop secondary progressive ME. That’s where the big bucks will be made.
I AM TAKING GILENYA
CAN I CHANGE TO THIS NEW DRUG OR I CONTINUE WITH GILENYA
HAS MANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM
Do new drugs play a role in secondary Progressive MS?
Will any of these drugs be benificial to a patient that is full progressive?
Can Ocrelizumab be used in a 17 years old ms patient?
Wonderful, but no one can afford it!
It’s priced right along with the upper tier drugs, it’s cheaper in some cases. Maybe not compared to the injections, but this is a different class. Wife will be starting soon…
Genentech is providing assistance to cover the cost of Ocreluzimab. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to send in a prescription so the process of getting you help can begin. I was approved and have already taken the first two treatments. I now get a 24 week break and receive my next dose in November. Good luck.
Its covered 100% on Medi cal !
Sounds exciting for ms patients
This is an important step forward but I hope that neurologists who prescribe this drug will set appropriate expectations with patients. I looked at the study. I calculated the Number Needed to Treat to be 17. That means that for every 17 patients with primary-progressive MS who walks out the door with a prescription for this drug, only 1 of them will have any meaningful benefit.
I think Ocrevus has more promise for people newly diagnosed than for people who have been living with MS for decades. I have had PPMS for about 19 years and do not expect to benefit from it or to suddenly wake up and not be disabled anymore. But it offers some hope for a few.
Can ocrelizumab help a person diagnosed with Multuple System Atrophy?
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