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MS at the Limits 2022 | Long-term treatment with anti-CD20 mAbs – is it feasible?

Emma Tallantyre, MD, PhD, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, discusses the use of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) as a long-term treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). The use of anti-CD20 mAbs is a relatively new treatment for MS; therefore, it is difficult to confirm their safety as there is currently a lack of clinical evidence. Despite multiple Phase III trials showing favorable safety data for anti-CD20 mAbs, there is a definite need for further studies into long-term treatment. There is evidence in the long-term use of rituximab and ocrelizumab showing depletion of IgG in many MS patients, as well as a considerable depletion of IgM. However, the reduction in IgG has not been observed in ofatumumab to the same extent. Therefore, the clinical products of biomarkers such as IgG need to be studied to ascertain whether the long-term use of anti-CD20 mAbs is safe. Dr Tallantyre suggests that a more personalized use of anti-CD20 mAbs could promote safer long-term use, although this raises concerns about the return of disease activity during a longer dose interval. This interview took place during the 2022 Multiple Sclerosis at the Limits Conference in London, UK.

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In the last 5 years, Dr Tallantyre has received honorarium for consulting work from Biogen, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, and Roche. She has received travel grants to attend or speak at educational meetings from Biogen, Merck, Roche, Takeda and Novartis.