New drug possible breakthrough against progressive multiple sclerosis

23 December, 2016, 03:18 | Author: Alejandro Stokes

This treatment is being developed for both relapsing and primary progressive MS. The researchers found that 32.9 and 39.3 percent of patients treated with ocrelizumab and placebo had 12-week confirmed disability progression, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.76; P = 0.03).

A drug that has been called a "landmark" by doctors may finally be the cure for multiple sclerosis.

The research, which was published in New England Journal of Medicine and which was sponsored by pharmaceutical giant, Roche, show that patients who took ocrelizumab showed less brain loss scans while scoring better on the time needed to walk 25ft or 7.6m.

The research involved testing on more than 700 patients by scientists at institutions across the United States and Europe. Two further trials prove the drug's ability to treat relapsing MS.

Dr Peter Calabresi from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, said: "This is the first drug to show a significant effect in slowing disability progression in a phase three trial in primary progressive multiple sclerosis". US FDA has extended its review of Ocrelizumab as well as the European Medicines Agency.

This is really big news for people with the primary progressive form of multiple sclerosis.

The disease affects nearly three times as many women as men and can cause a range of symptoms including vision problems, balance, dizziness, memory loss, tremors, loss of speech and sexual problems.

The Chief Executive of MS Ireland said in a recent statement "MS Ireland believes that people with MS should have access to all and any appropriate and licensed treatments that would improve or assist in the management of their condition".

The disease either become progressively worse with age - or strikes in brutal, periodic relapses - with many people left relying on wheelchairs.

A "landmark" new drug able to alter the immune system is giving hope to sufferers of multiple sclerosis.

Certain immune cells, called B-cells, attack myelin, the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres. Because Ocrelizumab attacks only B cells, other cells may remain unharmed and important functions of the immune system may be preserved.

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