Genentech and Biogen Idec
- Administered via intravenous infusion.
- Rituxan is a monoclonal antibody that binds to a receptor on the surface of B cells. These cells are then destroyed and their levels in the circulation are decreased.
- A Phase II trial examined the effect of a single course of treatment; with two infusions of 1,000 mg each, administered two weeks apart. At 24 and 48 weeks, the number of active lesions was reduced by 91 percent and relapses were reduced by 58 percent.
- The drug has also been tested in 26 people with RRMS who experienced continued clinical activity despite treatment with one of the approved disease-modifying therapies. During the 24 weeks of the trial, participants received four doses of Rituxan while continuing to take their same medication. Participants showed statistically significant improvement in their MS Functional Composite Scores.
- Serious adverse events, including PML (as with Tysabri), have been reported in patients treated with Rituxan for diseases other than MS; patients must be closely monitored.