For pharmaceutical giant Roche, the battle against multiple sclerosis (MS) is not just necessary. It’s also personal. There are as much as 2.3 million people in world who are suffering from MS. And one of them is Sallie Aull, a Roche employee who has been battling MS since she was diagnosed with the disease in the 70’s. Today, Roche is proud to announce they have a drug that can be a game changer for people like Sallie who battle MS every day. In fact, recent studies have found that its drug, ocrelizumab, can effectively reduce the disability progression in people dealing with relapsing MS as well as primary progressive MS (PPMS).
MS has the capability to render anyone disabled without a traumatic event. It usually preys on people between 20 to 40 years of age by having one’s immune system attack his or her insulation and support around the nerve cells (myelin sheath) in the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord. This, in turn, leads to inflammation and disability.
It is also important to note that during the time that Sallie first started battling MS, an MS attack or relapse is usually just treated with steroids. Hence, the positive finding brought about by the new Roche drug is almost miraculous.
Ocrelizumab is the first investigational medicine found to significantly reduce the progression of disability among relapsing MS patients as well as those with progressive MS. This means that people like Sallie get to lead lives the way they want to, walking and doing different things on their own. In fact, studies also show that this new, revolutionary Roche drug can reduce a patient’s time to walk 25 feet. Moreover, there are also positive findings when it comes to ocrelizumab’s ability to reduce the volume of one’s chronic inflammatory brain lesions as well as brain volume loss.
Now, Roche plans to submit the findings of its studies in early 2016. It also plans to acquire marketing authorization to promote ocrelizumab for the treatment of relapsing MS and PPMS.