Roche, Biogen Idec MS Drug Trial Reports Patient Death

A patient enrolled in clinical trial for <"">ocrelizumab, a multiple sclerosis drug being developed by Biogen Idec and Roche, has died. According to a Reuters report, the patient died of an inflammatory reaction.

Ocrelizumab is being developed for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It is currently in Phase 2 clinical trials.

According to the companies, no opportunistic infections were reported in the 220-person trial, and they said no causal link had been established between ocrelizumab and the patient death from systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS).

There were no cases of SIRS in the placebo group or among patients who received the lower of the two doses of ocrelizumab. However, 1.8 percent of patients — or one out of 55 — who took the higher dose developed the condition.

This past spring, Roche and Biogen halted another ocrelizumab trial among patients with rheumatoid arthritis after serious infections, some of which were fatal, as well as opportunistic infections, were reported among participants, Reuters said.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Roche and Biogen also reported that the 24-week results from this current multiple sclerosis trial of ocrelizumab shows a “significant reduction” in brain lesions and relapse in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

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