One treatment which I'm keeping my eyes on is ocrelizumab (which is basically the humanized version of rituximab). Studies of ocrelizumab in rheumatoid arthritis were halted last March due to deaths in the Phase III trials. Studies of ocrelizumab in lupus have also been halted.
I'm personally interested in following the success of ocrelizumab just so that MS patients might be able to try it on-label, as opposed to attempting to use rituximab off-label. But if it proves to be unsafe, then we should all stop to weigh the benefits/risks (as we should with all treatment choices).
I'm including one brief article below regarding this new information. Please do follow the links at the end of this article for more information. The one statement which gives me a little twinge in the stomach refers to the MS market quickly growing to $13 billion. Just a couple weeks ago, it was estimated at $7 billion.
While I do not believe in conspiracies to keep us "sick", I must concede that we represent a lucrative market. Too many dollar signs floating around. Sigh.
Just five months after risk factors forced Roche and Biogen Idec to scuttle a program to develop ocrelizumab for rheumatoid arthritis, researchers are touting new mid-stage data showing that MS patients on the drug experienced a reduction in relapses and brain lesions. But they also noted that one person died in the trials and that patients in the drug arm of the trial experienced a higher rate of some side effects than the patients in the placebo arm.