LONDON, January 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Catherine Amey; European Neurological Review, 2016;11(Suppl.1):5-9; http://www.touchneurology.com/articles/b-cell-targeted-therapy-multiple-sclerosis-new-possibilities
Published recently in European Neurological Review, the peer-reviewed journal from touchNEUROLOGY, Catherine Amey explains how the role of B cells in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) may not be simply related to their ability to produce antibodies. B cells are highly efficient antigen-presenting cells, producing cytokines that can change the microenvironment and can mediate negative effects through astrocyte populations. Furthermore, as well as producing antibodies, B cells produce ectopic lymphoid follicle-like aggregates that persist in the brains of MS patients. This improved understanding of the centrality of the B cell in the biology of MS presents greater opportunities for developing effective therapies. The lymphocyte antigen CD20 is not expressed at early stem and pro B cell stages, nor on most short- or long-lived plasma cells. This presents the possibility that anti-CD20 treatment could deplete the intermediate stage of B-cell development while preserving the ability of stem cells to repopulate and protecting pre-existing humoural immunity. Ocrelizumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody that depletes CD20+ B cells via multiple mechanisms. In the OPERA I and OPERA II trials, compared with interferon beta-1a (IFNβ-1a) treatment over 96 months, ocrelizumab significantly reduced: the annualised relapse rate, 12- and 24-week confirmed disease progression, T1 gadolinium-enhancing lesions and new and/or enlarging T2 lesions. Overall, in OPERA I and OPERA II, ocrelizumab had a similar safety profile to that of IFNβ-1a over the study period. The OPERA I and OPERA II studies therefore provide strong support of for the theory that targeting CD20+ B cells as a potential therapeutic approach in relapsing MS.
The full peer-reviewed, open-access article is available here:
Disclosure: Catherine Amey is an employee of Touch Medical Media, Reading, UK. This article reports the proceedings of a sponsored satellite symposium held at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis in Barcelona 2015 and, as such, has not been subject to this journal's usual peer-review process. A member of the editorial board reviewed the report before publication. This report contains information about a non-authorised product(s)/investigational drug(s).
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