Subcutaneous Ocrevus injection – OCARINA II trial results

Phase III trial results could strengthen Ocrevus’s position in multiple sclerosis

GlobalData, 19th July 2023: Genentech recently announced positive results from its phase III trial, OCARINA II (NCT05232825), investigating the efficacy of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) as a subcutaneous injection, administered twice yearly for ten minutes, in patients diagnosed with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). Roche announced the trial met all of the primary and secondary endpoints, which could help strengthen Ocrevus’s position in the multiple sclerosis (MS) market, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.   

Barbora Salcman, Neurology Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Ocrevus, in its intravenous (IV) form, has been approved for use in MS since 2017. It quickly established itself on the market after approval, not only due to its favourable efficacy and positive safety profile, but also because the agent treats all forms of MS, which is not the case for most other products. However, the IV administration of Ocrevus can be time consuming and uncomfortable for patients, as they need to receive the medication twice a year over the course of a two-hour infusion.”

Ocrevus is expected to dominate the MS market. However, sales are expected to decline due in part to patients switching to newer agents with more convenient methods of administration, such as Novartis’ Kesimpta, which is administered in the form of a subcutaneous injection every four weeks.

Salcman concludes: “The approval of new agents in recent years with positive clinical profiles and convenient routes of administration for MS, such as Kesimpta, may drive patients to switch from their previous medications. However, if the subcutaneous version of Ocrevus gains FDA approval, the agent might have an easier time retaining its customer base and even start attracting new patients who are searching for a reliable and safe agent with a convenient administration route.”