Roche’s Ocrevus additional PML cases in MS not a cause for concern or negative uptake impact despite analyst frets – neurologists

22 Nov 2017

Roche’s Ocrevus additional PML cases in MS not a cause for concern or negative uptake impact despite analyst frets – neurologists

Roche’s (VTX:ROG) Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) having additional reported cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) has not raised neurologist alarms despite analyst concern. Most physicians, familiar with treating PML, said the events should not negatively affect the medication’s uptake in multiple sclerosis (MS), despite contrary market opinions.

The FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) lists three cases of PML for Ocrevus in 2017 so far. Following one reported case of PML in June, this news service reported experts discussed a potential additive effect of Ocrevus to Biogen’s (NASDAQ:BIIB) Tysabri (natalizumab), though ultimately they concluded that the case was likely due to the latter’s carryover effect.

One analyst report notes that because of the PML risk that remains with Ocrevus, its uptake might be potentially limited and it will unlikely seriously threaten established products such as Tysabri or Biogen’s Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate). However, experts noted that the PML cases are not a major concern for the time being given that neurologists have become increasingly used to addressing PML. Most added that without definitive proof that the PML cases are not a carryover from other medications, Ocrevus’ prescriptions should remain unaffected.

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