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ECTRIMS 2022 | Long-term results of ocrelizumab in treatment-naive patients with early relapsing MS

João José Cerqueira, MD, PhD, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, shares the long-term efficacy and safety results of ocrelizumab in treatment-naive patients with early relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) from the OPERA open-label extension trials (NCT01247324/NCT01412333). In the OPERA trials, patients were randomized to ocrelizumab or interferon beta-1a. In the open-label extension, patients continued on ocrelizumab or switched from interferon beta-1a to ocrelizumab. This sub-analysis included patients diagnosed within two years with no previous disease-modifying therapies before enrolment. Over 7 years, 70% of patients remained on treatment, and a significantly higher proportion of ocrelizumab continuers (51%) had NEDA compared with switchers (28%). Regarding safety, rates of adverse events, serious adverse events, and serious infections were similar to the double-blind period. A small number of patients had IgG levels below the lower limit of normal, but serious infections were uncommon in this subgroup and were consistent with the overall ocrelizumab-treated population. These results show that early initiation and continuous ocrelizumab treatment was more effective than starting on interferon beta-1a in maintaining NEDA and was associated with a favorable safety profile, supporting first-line use of ocrelizumab in newly diagnosed patients with early relapsing MS. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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JC has received consultancy fees from Biogen, Roche, Novartis, Almirall, Janssen, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Merck and Zambon; and research grants from Biogen, Roche, Merck and Novartis, as well as the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and Clinical Academic Centre Braga.