NEW MS drug treatment Ocrevus approved from FDA

This information is from: NBC NEWS

The Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug to treat multiple sclerosis Tuesday, March 28,2017

The drug, called Ocrevus, is approved for use against the most common form of MS – the relapsing-remitting type. It’s also the first drug specifically approved for primary progressive MS, a very aggressive form of the disease that affects 10 to 15 percent of MS patients.

There are no approved treatments now for primary progressive MS, which causes steadily worsening symptoms.

YOU CAN ALSO GO TO: MS News Update: FDA Approves First Drug to Treat Two Forms of MS – Please see MSAA’s online news article for more information. CLICK:

While it’s not a cure, it’s one more weapon to use to help some of the 400,000 people with MS. In trials of 1,600 volunteers, it cut relapses in patients with the most common form of MS by nearly half compared with an older drug called Rebif.

Ocrevus, known generically as ocrelizumab, is a monoclonal antibody – an engineered immune system molecule. It won breakthrough designation from the FDA, which helped speed it through the approval process. Roche, which makes the drug, expects sales to top $4 billion a year.

It will be on the market within two weeks, and will cost $65,000 a year, the company said. That’s similar to the cost of Rebif, a 14-year-old drug now widely used to treat MS, although costs vary widely on all MS drugs.

Genentech says it deliberately set the price 20 percent below the current market average for an MS treatment. “The continually escalating prices of MS disease-modifying therapies are creating barriers to people with MS getting these life-changing medications,” the National MS Society said in a statement.

“Given every six months by IV infusion, Ocrevus represents a scientific advancement as a first-in-class therapy targeting B cells, a type of immune cell that plays a central role in the disease,” Genentech, a subsidiary of drug giant Roche, said in a statement.

Christina Reyes, an elementary school teacher living in Converse, Texas, was diagnosed with MS in 1990 at the age of 15. Even as a young woman, she sometimes had to use a leg braces and a cane to walk. At times, she needed a wheelchair.

“I cried. It broke my heart,” Reyes told NBC News. “There were times when I could not bathe myself. I had to ask my mother to wash my hair. I couldn’t write. I felt drained all the time.”

Reyes joined an experimental trial of Ocrevus. “I was tired and upset at what I had to go through every day. I wanted others to have some choices. I got it so young, I didn’t have any,” said Reyes, who is 42.

The drug helped her and now she says she does not need her braces or her wheelchair. “This is exactly what I wished and hoped and prayed for,” she said.

While there are many drugs in the highly competitive MS market, Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and CEO, of National MS Society, says there is room for improvement. Many of the drug suppress the immune system, have dangerous side-effects and often do not change the course of the disease.

“We hope this is just the beginning of the development of the next generation of treatments for MS,” Zagieboylo said.

Dr. Stephen Hauser, Chair of the UCSF Medical Center Department of Neurology and the lead researcher in the Ocrevus trials, described the results as “a really big deal for the MS community.” He’s been working to develop Ocrevus for 40 years.

“We hope this is just the beginning of the development of the next generation of treatments for MS.”By targeting B-cells, Ocrevus takes a new approach in fighting MS. B-cells are the “key policemen” of the immune system that are culprits in MS, Hauser said. “They are orchestrating brain inflammation.”

Ocrevus can cause serious side-effects, such as an increased risk of infections and cancer, notably breast cancer. About one-half of one percent of the patients who took the drug developed cancer, which was twice the rate of those who did not take the drug.

n 2010, Roche and Biogen suspended trials of the drug in patients with against rheumatoid arthritis after some died from infections that became serious because of the drug’s immune-suppressing effects.

Roche says those problems did not come up in the MS trials. Hauser says doctors may need to wait for studies that Roche must conduct in larger populations of patients who take the drug after it’s approved.

“I often think about people with MS whom I saw 40 years ago, when nothing could be done,” Hauser said.

Reyes says she now asks her husband if he wants to go dancing. “It’s my miracle drug,” she said.




Leave a Reply

Donation Information

I would like to make a donation in the amount of:


I would like this donation to automatically repeat each month

Tribute Gift

Check here to donate in honor or memory of someone

Donor Information

First Name:
Last Name:
Add me to your mailing list

Donor Address

Address 2:(optional)
State :
Postal Code:

Shop with AmazonSmile and Support The NeuroCommunity Foundation

Did you know that you can support The NeuroCommunity Foundation through your everyday online purchases? has a charitable program called AmazonSmile. It is a simple and automatic way for you to support The NeuroCommunity Foundation every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to The NeuroCommunity Foundation!

It’s simple:

1) Go to AmazonSmile from the web browser on your computer or mobile device.
2)Login with your username and password or create one if you are a new user.
3) Search for The NeuroCommunity Foundation in the search box on the right side where it asks which charity you would like to support.
4) Select The NeuroCommunity Foundation from the search results or type in The NeuroCommunity Foundation should the select not include our organization.
Happy shopping and thank you for supporting The NeuroCommunity Foundation

Support us when you shop for back-to-school items.

Just Click Here and Shop

Northridge Foundation For Neurological Research & Education

Smile with Back to School shopping

Dear The NeuroCommunity Foundation friends,supporters and participants.

If you happen to shop at Ralphs and would like to support The NeuroCommunity Foundation, we would be most appreciative!. If you do shop at Ralphs, we will receive 1 % of your purchase through their community
contribution program. The NeuroCommunity Foundation's Non-Profit Org. number ( NP0 # ) is 82287

All you need to do is enroll online at OR by calling Ralphs at
800-443-4438 after September 1, 2016.

If you happened to enroll prior to Sept 1st, Ralphs requires you to register again.

For your convenience, step-by-step website registration instructions are found below or can be found at, click on Community, click on Community Contributions, click on ‘Enroll Now’. If you don’t have computer access, please call us at 1-800-443-4438 for assistance.

Use you Ralph’s Rewards Card to Contribute Here’s How:

If you do not have a Ralph’s online account
1. Go to
2. Follow the easy steps to create an online account
3. You will be instructed to go to your email inbox to confirm your account
4. After you confirm your online account by clicking on the link in your email, return to and click on ‘Sign In’, enter your email address and password.
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Enroll
b. Type our NPO number 82287 or
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process

(This means that you have already entered your email address and assigned yourself a password)

1. Log in to
2. Click Sign In
3. Enter your email address and password
4. Click on ‘Your Name’ (In the top right hand corner)
5. View all your information and edit as necessary
6. Link your card to your organization by clicking on:
a. Community Rewards – Re-Enroll
b. Type your NPO number or Name of your Organization
c. Remember to click on the circle to the left of your organizations’ name
d. Click on Enroll to finish your enrollment process