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Business News/ Companies / News/  Roche launches multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus in India
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Roche launches multiple sclerosis drug Ocrevus in India

According to industry experts, Ocrevus will be available in India for around ₹3 lakh per dose

The drug is being launched in India after almost seven years of it being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for global use. (Image: Pixabay)Premium
The drug is being launched in India after almost seven years of it being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for global use. (Image: Pixabay)

NEW DELHI : Roche Pharma India, a subsidiary of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, has launched monoclonal antibody drug, Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) in India for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

The company said Ocrevus is the first disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for both relapsing multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and targets 150,000-200,000 patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in India.

The drug is being launched in India after almost seven years of it being approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for global use. 

The company declined to reveal the price details of the drug. However, according to industry experts, Ocrevus will be available in India for around 3 lakh per dose.

The current list price of the drug for the US market is $75,102 annually which may vary based on the insurance coverage of an individual.

“The drug in India is being launched at a very competitive price and is the first and only approved MS drug with a twice-yearly treatment option with an infusion duration of only 2 hours. And it is covered under a regular healthcare insurance plan in the country," a company representative said. 

Novartis and Biogen are the two other companies offering multiple sclerosis therapy products in the Indian market.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system. The drug targets CD20+ B cells in the immune system, which play a key role in the progression of MS by attacking the myelin sheath covering nerve fibres.

“The extensive clinical trial data for Ocrevus stands as the most substantial evidence for any medication in significantly slowing disability progression in primary progressive MS," said Viraj Suvarna, Chief Medical Officer at Roche Pharma India.

“Moreover, it reveals superior outcomes in terms of brain atrophy and disability progression for early initiators of Ocrevus compared to those who switched to the drug after receiving interferon treatment for relapsing MS (RMS). These findings strongly advocate for the adoption of Ocrevus as the first line of treatment and the established standard of care across the entire spectrum of MS," Suvarna added.

As per the company in July 2023, treatment from the drug met its clinical endpoints in the phase three study. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Naman Suri
Naman is a skilled business journalist who excels in breaking down complex financial details. He specializes in the corporate sector, providing thorough coverage of the pharmaceutical industry, the dynamic field of sports business, and the fascinating area of white-collar crime. Naman has a knack for making sense of numbers and presenting them in an understandable way.
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Published: 27 Feb 2024, 07:18 PM IST
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