The positive data for Roche’s Ocrevus keep on coming.
Friday, the company’s Genentech unit announced that the multiple-sclerosis fighter had significantly cut down disease activity and disability progression in patients with relapsing forms of the disease and those with the harder-to-treat, primary progressive forms.
According to a new analysis presented at the European Academy of Neurology’s annual congress, at the 96-week mark, Ocrevus boasted the number of RMS patients who had reached a mark dubbed “No Evidence of Progression or Active Disease” by 82% over its rival, Merck KGaA’s Rebif.
And for PPMS patients, at the 120-week point, Ocrevus more than tripled the proportion of patients who had maintained the NEPAD distinction—29.9%—over placebo.
“Slowing disability progression, or preventing people with MS from having to use a cane or wheelchair, makes a great difference to their daily lives,” Ludwig Kappos, chair of the University Hospital in Basel’s department of neurology, said in a statement
“These results underline that the significant effects of Ocrevus on disability progression are clinically meaningful,” said Ludwig Kappos, M.D., Chair of the Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.
Right now, Roche is still waiting on European approval for the med. In the U.S., though, it snagged an approval in March on the back of a host of positive data, becoming the first med ever approved by the FDA to treat PPMS.
While industry watchers expect Ocrevus to eventually become a game changer in the MS space, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing so far. Last month, Roche confirmed that a patient taking the med had been diagnosed with the rare-but-deadly brain disease PML, though the company was quick to note that it was unclear whether Ocrevus or a previous med the patient had taken was the culprit.