- Parent companies: Genentech and Biogen Idec.
- Administered via intravenous infusions.
- Targets certain B-cells that produce antibodies, resulting in less antibody-mediated damage.
- Used to treat lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
- Preliminary results are positive in RRMS studies; also positive results in neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a condition similar to MS, causing inflammation of the optic nerve and spinal cord.
- Phase I open-label, multi-center RRMS study shows that after two treatment courses and 48 weeks, frequency of lesions and relapses was reduced; safe and well-tolerated during study.
- Recently completed phase II trial with RRMS; showed significant reduction in total number of enhancing lesions versus placebo group; also, more patients remained relapse-free in treated group.
- Phase II/III trials in progress for PPMS.
- Serious adverse events have been reported in Rituxan-treated patients with other diseases including PML; patients must be closely monitored.