It’s been four weeks since the FDA approved the new MS drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab). From patients to doctors to researchers, here’s what the world is saying about the approval—and what it means for the future treatment of PPMS and RRMS.
“I’m very happy I went on ocrelizumab. I love that I go every six months for ocrelizumab. I don’t have to take a pill every day or a shot.” – Pamela Arterbridge, 46, clinical trial participant
“Although, it is indeed progress that the first medication for PPMS has been approved, the patients should be fully informed of its potential risks. For patients who can obtain Rituximab, it would be safer to continue with this therapy, until with time, we are better able to advise patients about the risks associated with Ocrelizumab.” – International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice
“It is like free advertising for Roche stock, and this is at the expense of accurately informing the American public. It’s a fake breakthrough…it’s shameless.” – Dr. Annette M. Langer-Gould, neurologist and research scientist (formerly at Genentech)
“Though I got a skin rash from my first treatment, I haven’t had other side effects. Even though I think about my MS, I have not had a relapse since I’ve been on Ocrevus.” – Wayne Donovon, 45, clinical trial participant
“Look out, Biogen and Novartis. Roche’s Ocrevus is coming for your MS sales.” – Fierce Pharma
“If there is the ability to slow down progressive MS in any way, shape, or form, it’s a massive development and can have an outstanding impact for people living with the disease, both personally and professionally.” – Cory Turner, Canadian MS patient
“MS is a very varied disease, and not all medications will work for all people. However, the addition of another weapon in the arsenal is very promising and the fact this is the first medication for primary progressive MS is exciting.” – MS Research Australia
“Ocrevus can reduce the burden of multiple sclerosis and give patients hope.” – Paul Urick, president of Diplomat Pharmacy, an independent specialty pharmacy that’s been selected to dispense Ocrevus
“It’s encouraging to see that clinical trials for progressive forms of MS have begun to make a striking impact on the treatment landscape and are becoming a top priority for regulatory bodies.” – Dr. Karen Lee, VP of research at the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
“For decades, trial after trial has failed to show the benefit of any medicine for people with primary progressive MS. Now, for the first time, we have a positive Phase 3 study result for people with this debilitating form of the disease.” – Xavier Montalban, MD, PhD, chair of the Scientific Steering Committee for the ORATORIO study and a professor of neurology and neuroimmunology at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and Research Institute in Spain
“This is an encouraging step forward for people with PPMS in the USA. Though the U.K. is part of a separate licensing process in Europe and there is still a long way to go, the FDA decision is a cause for optimism.” – Pam Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the MS Trust
“It’s brilliant news that ocrelizumab has been approved for both relapsing and primary progressive MS in the U.S. We now want to see the European Medicines Agency making the same decision.” – Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs, MS Society UK
“We have eagerly awaited the FDA approval of Ocrevus. For many people living with MS, this FDA approval is a source of hope.” – June Halper, CEO, Consortium for MS Centers
“I’m really happy for the patients – they are going to do fine with their treatment and with easier access to ocrelizumab many more patients will be able to receive this treatment.” – Michael Racke, MD, Department of Neurology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
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