What is ocrelizumab?
Ocrelizumab (Ocrevus) is a prescription drug targeted to specific B cells in the body’s immune system. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ocrelizumab for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and primary progressive sclerosis (PPMS).
Its structure is similar to the structure of rituximab (Rituxan), which is sometimes used as a treatment for MS outside the label. This means that rituximab is not compatible with the FDA to treat MS, but some doctors still use it for this purpose.
Read on to learn more about this new
medication and if it can help treat the symptoms.
What are the benefits of ocrelizumab?
Ocrelizumab is a type of medicine called a monoclonal antibody. This means that it specifically targets a substance. The target material of the ocrelizumab molecule is called CD20 protein, which is found in B cells. When ocrelizumab is associated with positive B-CD20 B cells, B cells explode and die.
This is useful because experts believe that B cells can play an important role in MS by:
Activate other immune cells to attack neurons in the body
Increases inflammation in the brain and spinal cord