« Back

Ocrelizumab Receives Licence in EU


Monday January 15 2018 12:13 PM

Roche’s ocrelizumab receives licence in the EU for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS)

Ocrelizumab is first and only approved disease-modifying medicine for people in EU with early PPMS

Dublin, 12 January 2018: Roche announced today that ocrelizumab has been granted marketing authorisation in Europe for patients with certain types of active relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS) and early primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). Ocrelizumab is the first and only approved disease-modifying medicine for people in the European Union (EU) with early PPMS. Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects approximately 700,000 people in Europe, of which around 96,000 have the highly disabling primary progressive form.1,2 Most people with MS have a relapsing form (RMS) or primary progressive MS (PPMS) at diagnosis.3 

“An estimated 1,350 people in Ireland live with PPMS. Today’s licence of ocrelizumab signifies an important treatment option for their disease,’’ said Dr Michal Starnawski, Roche’s Medical Director in Ireland. “Ocrelizumab is the first medicine to be approved for primary progressive MS, a debilitating form in which patients can quickly start to experience disability that is irreversible.  Now that we have the licence, we can move forward to the next stage of ensuring access for patients. We are committed to working with the HSE to provide this access as quickly as possible.’’

Speaking about the new licence, Professor Chris McGuigan, Consultant Neurologist at St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin said “The granting of an EU licence for ocrelizumab is very positive news. Currently, there are no other licensed drugs for this type of MS and people with the condition experience a progression in symptoms which can cause mobility issues making work and daily activities challenging.” 

The most common side effects associated with Ocrelizumab in all Phase III clinical trials were infusion reactions and upper respiratory tract infections, which were mostly mild to moderate in severity.  

About Ocrelizumab   

Ocrelizumab is a humanised 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 multiple sclerosis (MS). Based on preclinical studies, Ocrelizumab binds to CD20 cell surface proteins expressed on certain B cells, but not on stem cells or plasma cells, and therefore important functions of the immune system may be preserved. Ocrelizumab 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. 

Author: Roche

Tags: ocrelizumab, licence, ms



Tuesday January 16 2018 12:26

Excellent news. Delighted for all people concerned.


Tuesday January 30 2018 15:42

great news. does anyone know if there is any availability on compassionate or trial basis. have PPMS and am slipping at speed.


Tuesday January 30 2018 17:32

This is great news I wonder how long we will have to wait to get this drug .


Friday February 02 2018 00:51

I am currently defined as relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis but I can feel changes and I am afraid I will be upgraded soon. This drug brings much-needed hope.


Monday February 12 2018 18:08

What is the success rate of the drug in the USA?

Dear Mark

Details of clinical trial results for ocrelizumab to date and what further trials are planned and/or currently ongoing can be found here: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/ocrelizumab-ocrevus

MS Ireland

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published and will only be used by MS Ireland to contact you should there be an issue with your comment.

Please read our policy on making comments. Basically, respect other people’s view, use appropriate language and be nice! Comments are published between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

We ask this question to ensure that you are a real person, and not a computer adding information automatically.

By commenting, you are adhering to our Terms of use / Privacy

Latest News

More news

What's hot


Kiss Goodbye to MS...

is a campaign about hope, that together we can raise funds to accelerate Irish and global research into MS and continue to provide services to over 9000 people living with MS In Ireland. Join the campaign NOW!

Find out more

Events Calendar

» Our next Event

21 May 2019: Yoga Classes for People with MS Payment to be made on the first class of a new block of classes to a desig...

View all events


If you'd like to receive e-news updates from The Society please enter your email address below. If you want to know more about how we manage personal data then please see our privacy policy.

My local MSI

Map of MS Ireland's service areas South Mid West West Midlands South East North East North West North Dublin City and Fingal South West Dublin and Kildare South East Dublin and Wicklow