Ocrelizumab: a B-cell depleting therapy for multiple sclerosis.
Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common neurological disease responsible for early disability in the young working population. In the last two decades, based on retrospective/prospective data, the use of disease-modifying therapies has been shown to slow the rate of disability progression and prolonged the time to conversion into secondary-progressive MS (SPMS). However, despite the availability of several approved therapies, disability progression cannot be halted significantly in all MS patients.
Areas covered: This article reviews the immunopathology of the B-cells, and their role in pathogenesis of MS and their attractiveness as a potential therapeutic target in MS. The review focuses on the recently published ocrelizumab phase III trials in terms of its efficacy, safety, and tolerability as well as its future considerations.
Expert opinion: B lymphocyte cell depletion therapy offers a compelling and promising new option for MS patients. Nonetheless, there is a need for heightened vigilance and awareness in detecting potential long-term consequences that currently remain unknown.