Lemtrada Might Outperform Ocrevus in Preventing MS Relapses, Italian Researchers Say

Lemtrada Might Outperform Ocrevus in Preventing MS Relapses, Italian Researchers Say

Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) may be more effective in preventing relapses in multiple sclerosis patients than the newly approved Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), according to a study presented April 28 at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston.

The study, supported by Sanofi Genzyme and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, compared the two drugs using an analysis of how many patients are needed to treat to prevent one additional bad outcome. This type of analysis, called “number needed to treat” (NNT), allows comparisons of drugs in the absence of trials that compare different drugs side by side.

Although Lemtrada is more efficient, researchers from Italy’s Vita-Salute San Raffaele University concluded, only real-life data could confirm their findings. The study is based on several previous clinical trials, including patients treated for two years with 12 mg of Lemtrada in the Phase 2 CAMMS223 trial (NCT00050778), Phase 3 CARE-MS I (NCT00530348), and Phase 3 CARE-MS II (NCT00548405). Those in the second CARE-MS study were 628 patients who had not responded to an earlier treatment.

Researchers extracted Ocrevus data from the two OPERA trials (NCT01247324 and NCT01412333), with a total of 835 patients in the analysis.

The groups differed in how long they had been ill and how disabled they were. Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores were somewhat lower among Lemtrada patients. The duration of disease was also longer in the Ocrevus-treated groups — 6.7 years compared to 1.9 years in CAMMS223 and CARE-MS I and 4.5 years in CARE-MS II.

Both Lemtrada and Ocrevus had been compared to interferon-beta 1a in the trials, and researchers used information of how the drugs differed in absolute risk for relapses and disability to interferon to compute NNT. In fact, they found NNT to be lower in Lemtrada patients than among those treated with Ocrevus.

For relapses, NNT was 5 in the combined CAMMS223 and CARE-MS I trials, 4 in the CARE-MS II study, and 8 in both OPERA studies. In addition, NNT to prevent disability progression waslower with Lemtrada. This indicates that Lemtrada more effectively prevented relapses and disability progression than Ocrevus, but researchers stressed that real-life experience is needed to confirm the findings.


  1. Samer Baz says:

    I appreciate this great outcome but according to Side Effect of Lemetarda which I read in web are many & reach to 85% to occurs for patient. But the Ocrevus has less Side Effect. If there are any advice I read more about MS because my sister has MS almost Relapsing Remitting MS.
    And if any one hear about Steam Cell for MS ?
    Thanks ,
    Good luck.

    • Wehbe says:

      My wife used Lemtrada and the side effects are bearable. But the neurologist will decide whether lemtrada or ocrevus is more suitable for your sister’s case.

      From what I read, it seems that stem cell treatment for MS is still under trials. More time is needed to judge.

      My wife’s doctor confirmed to me that although there is no medicine that can stop MS so far, but there are several new medicines in the pipeline.

    • ben says:

      yes. it is done in some centers in Canada, Russia, USA, Singapore and some other places. The results of Dr. Freedman in Ottawa hospital for 24 patients showed 100% stop in MRI disease activity and 70 halt in neurological progress of disease. 25 % showed substantial improvement in their condition. This is the real cure for immune system which is cause of disease and around 70% chance of halting the symptom worsening.

  2. Meredith says:

    I’d like to hear of outcomes of the older ms populations. Y’all need o remember all trials cut off ages of 55, I’ve heard speakers lauding lemtrada and ocrevus.

  3. K says:

    I have done a lot of reading and gathering information on the stem cell trials more specifically the one in Chicago at North Western. The percentages of preogression stoppage is within a percentage or two of each other. The big difference in the stem cell trial and Lematrada is that after getting Lemtrada you do not get the added boost of stem cells to get your immune system to regrow probably faster. Lemtrada knocks your immune system out the same percentage as what they do in Chicago with the stem cell process and chemo but different drugs. Chicago is still in trials but I believe in Stage 3. There is a HSCT group on Facebook that you can request to be a part of if you want further information on it. I was accepted for an evaluation in Chicago but some test results were not prime and in all the info I had from both choices I chose Lemtrada. It is less invasive than Stem Cell and less of a disruption for the family as well. My choice is not what everyone would choose but it is what is best for me and my family. I do believe age is a factor when applying for Chicago but it can’t hurt to try. From what I have read we have the same chances of developing other autoimmune issues or side effects from both Stem Cell and Lemtrada treatments. As in all things these will differ per person as does MS. So with all that being said, the best thing to do is get as much info as you can on both and then move on from there. My neurologist did say that Lemtrada was definitely more powerful than Ocrevus and for me failing other multiple meds we needed to take the step to the big guns as she called Lemtrada. Wishing the best to everyone that reads this!

  4. Joe says:

    Here is a interesting link where you can hear experts discuss drugs and diet for MS it was live screened on Thursday, 17th November 2016 for a research information event in Trinity Biomedical Sciences Building (TBSI), Pearse Street, Dublin 2 @ 6.00pm.

    Dr. Nonnie McNicholas, MS Research Fellow, St Vincent’s University Hospital: Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis
    Professor Eva Havrdova, Consultant Neurologist, Charles University, Prague: NEDA in Real Clinical Practice
    Dr. Conor Kerley, PHD, BSc, H.Dip, MINDI, DCU: Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies to Combat MS

    I am going to post the youtube links hopefully they work if the dont then you can go to youtube and search for NNT and MS and MS and Conor Kerley



    Professor Eva Havrdova, Consultant Neurologist, Charles University, Prague: NEDA in Real Clinical Practice refuses to answer question on NNT

Leave a Reply to Debbie Smithson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *