Health Canada have decided to approve Ocrevus for use on Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) patients in the country.
Thanks to the latest development, Roche Ocrevus can now be prescribed to adults with early stage symptoms of the condition, making it the first treatment of its kind with disease modifying capabilities to be approved for use in the country.
The decision was made after trial results illustrated notable success in lowering the progression of the condition when patients used Ocrevus.
Disease progression in patients using the treatment dropped by a quarter, with only respiratory tract infections and flu given as potential side effects.
Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of PPMS, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system of the body. This has even lead to it being called ‘Canada’s disease’ by many observers.
Speaking about the decision to sanction the new treatment, Karen Lee, vice-president of the MS Society of Canada, said: “This is exciting news for the whole MS community. Over the years we have seen many new treatments come to market that manage relapsing-remitting MS, but there have been no disease modifying therapies for people living with progressive MS.”
“The approval of Ocrevus is a much-needed treatment for the PPMS community because, for some people living with PPMS, Ocrevus may help control or even slow disease progression.
“Hopefully, this is the beginning of many more treatment options for people living with PPMS.”
Meanwhile MS Patient Mike Schofield added: “Being diagnosed with PPMS and learning that there were no treatment options left me feeling hopeless. So when my doctor spoke to me about participating in a clinical trial for an experimental medicine, I felt like I had nothing to lose. I’m living proof that research pays off and I’m proud to have been part of the process that has made it possible for other patients to now access Ocrevus.”
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