New Data for Genentech’s Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) Reinforce Significant Benefit on Slowing Disease Progression in Relapsing and Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis
April 26th, 2021
– 85% of treatment-naïve, early-stage relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients achieved no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) in open-label Phase IIIb ENSEMBLE study –
– Ocrevus significantly slowed loss of brain tissue within T2 MRI lesions in primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) in post-hoc analysis of Phase III ORATORIO study –
– Ocrevus-treated patients show highest adherence and persistence rates compared with other disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in two-year U.S. claims analysis –
South San Francisco, CA -- April 15, 2021 --
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced new Ocrevus® (ocrelizumab) analyses supporting its significant benefit on disease progression in early-stage relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and primary progressive MS (PPMS) as well as demonstrating high persistence and strong adherence to twice-yearly (six-monthly) dosing. These data are being presented virtually at the 73rd American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting from April 17–22, 2021. Ocrevus is the number one prescribed MS medication in the U.S. for patients starting a new treatment, and more than 200,000 people have now been treated with Ocrevus globally.
“All patients regardless of their form of MS experience disease progression from the start. Therefore, we are encouraged by these new analyses showing that early treatment with Ocrevus may significantly control disease progression in both relapsing-remitting MS and in primary progressive MS. Controlling progression can enable people with MS to maintain mobility and limit their disability,” said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D. chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “In addition, our data show that more people with MS are staying on Ocrevus, the only twice-yearly treatment for MS, compared with other therapies, which may translate to improved outcomes.”
Interim analysis Phase IIIb ENSEMBLE: No evidence of disease progression in early-stage RRMS
Ocrevus treatment provided consistent benefit over one year in patients who were recently diagnosed with RRMS and had not received prior disease modifying treatment (DMT) in an interim analysis of open-label Phase IIIb study ENSEMBLE. After 48 weeks, 85% of Ocrevus-treated patients achieved no evidence of disease activity (NEDA; no relapses, worsening of disability or new or enlarging brain lesions with pre-specified MRI re-baselining at 8 weeks). The average annualized relapse rate across all patients was very low (0.005) and their mean change in Expanded Disability Status Scale score (EDSS) from baseline significantly improved from 1.71 to 1.55 (p=0.002). Additionally, neurofilament light chain (NfL), a marker of nerve cell damage, was reduced to nearly healthy control levels with Ocrevus treatment (10.5 pg/mL at baseline to 4.55 pg/mL at 48 weeks with Ocrevus vs. 4.12 pg/mL in healthy controls). The safety profile of Ocrevus in this trial was consistent with its overall favorable safety profile.
Post-hoc analysis Phase III ORATORIO: Slowed atrophied T2-lesion accumulation in PPMS
Ocrevus treatment significantly slowed accumulation of atrophied T2-lesion volume (aT2-LV) compared with placebo at 120 weeks in a post-hoc analysis of the ORATORIO study in PPMS (319 mm3 vs. 366 mm3 with placebo, p<0.015). AT2-LV is a measure that reflects the volume of T2 lesions in brain tissue that is replaced by cerebrospinal fluid, and is believed to be a marker of disease progression in MS. People with PPMS experience three to five times higher accumulation of aT2-LV than people with relapsing MS and these data suggest that Ocrevus may favorably impact the underlying progressive biology of MS.
Two-year U.S. claims analysis: Highest adherence and persistence rates
Approximately 80% of patients adhered to twice-yearly (six-monthly) dosing of Ocrevus after their second year of treatment compared with other DMTs, which were grouped by administration route (35% adherence to injectables, 55% to orals and 54% to other infusions), in a new analysis of U.S. commercial and insurance claims databases. Ocrevus also had the highest proportion of patients (75%) persist with therapy at two years (33% with injectables, 54% with orals and 55% with other infusions).
With rapidly growing real-world experience and more than 200,000 people treated globally, Ocrevus is the first and only therapy approved for relapsing MS (RMS; including RRMS and active, or relapsing, secondary progressive MS [SPMS], in addition to clinically isolated syndrome [CIS] in the U.S.) and PPMS. At Genentech, we are constantly striving to optimize the care for people with MS and a shorter two-hour Ocrevus infusion time, dosed twice yearly (six-monthly), is now approved for eligible people with RMS or PPMS in the U.S. and European Union (EU).
Ocrevus is approved in 95 countries across North America, South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, as well as in Australia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the EU.
About multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that affects nearly one million people in the United States, for which there is currently no cure. MS occurs when the immune system abnormally attacks the insulation and support around nerve cells (myelin sheath) in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, causing inflammation and consequent damage. This damage can cause a wide range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, fatigue and difficulty seeing, and may eventually lead to disability. Most people with MS experience their first symptom between 20 and 40 years of age, making the disease the leading cause of non-traumatic disability in younger adults.
Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) is the most common form of the disease and is characterized by episodes of new or worsening signs or symptoms (relapses) followed by periods of recovery. Approximately 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with RRMS. The majority of people who are diagnosed with RRMS will eventually transition to secondary progressive MS (SPMS), in which they experience steadily worsening disability over time. Relapsing forms of MS (RMS) include people with RRMS and people with SPMS who continue to experience relapses. Primary progressive MS (PPMS) is a debilitating form of the disease marked by steadily worsening symptoms but typically without distinct relapses or periods of remission. Approximately 15% of people with MS are diagnosed with the primary progressive form of the disease. Until the FDA approval of Ocrevus, there had been no FDA approved treatments for PPMS.
People with all forms of MS experience disease activity – inflammation in the nervous system and permanent loss of nerve cells in the brain – even when their clinical symptoms aren’t apparent or don’t appear to be getting worse. An important goal of treating MS is to reduce disease activity as soon as possible to slow how quickly a person’s disability progresses. Despite available disease-modifying treatments (DMTs), some people with RMS continue to experience disease activity and disability progression.
About Ocrevus® (ocrelizumab)
Ocrevus is the first and only therapy approved for both RMS (including clinically isolated syndrome, RRMS and active, or relapsing, SPMS) and PPMS, with dosing every six months. Ocrevus is a humanized monoclonal antibody designed to target CD20-positive B cells, a specific type of immune cell thought to be a key contributor to myelin (nerve cell insulation and support) and axonal (nerve cell) damage. This nerve cell damage can lead to disability in people with MS. Based on preclinical studies, Ocrevus binds to CD20 cell surface proteins expressed on certain B cells, but not on stem cells or plasma cells, suggesting that important functions of the immune system may be preserved.
Ocrevus is administered by intravenous infusion every six months. The initial dose is given as two 300 mg infusions given two weeks apart. Subsequent doses are given as single 600 mg infusions.