Nodes_myelin_axon.pngPhoto courtesy of BrainFacts.

For those suffering from multiple sclerosis, Tuesday brought positive news as the Food and Drug Administration approved a drug aimed at treating the various symptoms of the disease. Marketed by Genentech, Ocrev, injected twice a year, has been successful in slowing the the progression in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and even more successful in those affected by the relapsing form. While still expensive totaling in at approximately $65,000 a year, Ocrev is still less expensive than its competitor and predecessor Rebif which is sold at about $85,000 a year. Not only a more cost effective solution in a market that has steadily increased in cost in recent years, Ocrev has proven superior to Rebif in clinical trials at patient treatment.

Multiple sclerosis is a form of demyelinating disease attacking the sheath protecting a nerve cell’s axons. Once the axons have been destroyed, almost any neurological function can be impaired from vision impairment to motor and sensory skill loss. Doctors are confident that the new drug will be at the forefront of MS treatment as it has functioned well with few side effects, mainly swelling or irritation at the injection site and an increase in upper respiratory infections.

Continue reading about Ocrev here.