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Ocrevus lowers inflammation in relapsing MS patients, phase III trial shows

Treatment with Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) decreased levels of neurofilament light chain (NfL) and immune B-cells in the blood serum and central nervous system of patients with relapsing MS, according to early results from a Phase 3 trial.

NfL levels in the blood serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, as well as the number of lymphocytes in the CSF, have been seen as biomarkers of nerve fibre (axonal) damage and inflammation and ultimately disability in MS.

Early results from the trial, “Ocrelizumab treatment reduced levels of neurofilament light chain and numbers of B-cells in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis in the OBOE study,” were presented at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting, in Philadelphia, USA by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania. In the trial, patients received 600 mg infusions of Ocrevus every 24 weeks. CSF samples were collected by lumbar puncture prior to and at 12, 24 and 52 weeks of treatment.

The early trial results showed that pre-treatment CSF and serum levels of NfL were significantly associated with the number of both T1 gadolinium-enhancing lesions  and new/enlarging T2 lesions  referring to the total amount of lesions, both old (non-active) and new  on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Treatment with Ocrevus significantly reduced the number of T1 and T2 lesions, and there were very few gadolinium-enhancing T1 or new/enlarging T2 lesions post-ocrelizumab treatment, a result consistent with previous data from other clinical trials. Ocrevus also lowered serum NfL and CSF B-cells suggesting a decrease in neuronal/axonal injury.

Overall, the lower levels of NfL and B-cells in relapsing MS patients suggest that treatment with Ocrevus “reduces ongoing axonal injury,” the researchers wrote.

Source: MS-UK 17/05/19

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