Roche's Ocrevus racks up more positive MS data in relapsing and primary progressive forms

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Roche's multiple sclerosis med Ocrevus is under regulatory review in Europe.

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.

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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 distinction29.9%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.

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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.