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Anti-CD20 Agents for Multiple Sclerosis: Spotlight on Ocrelizumab and Ofatumumab

Neurology Department, University Hospital of Larissa, University of Thessaly, 41110 Larissa, Greece
Therapeutic Area Head Neuroscience & Ophthalmology, Novartis (Hellas) S.A.C.I., Medical Department, 14451 Athens, Greece
Department of Medicine, Western Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 3010, Australia
Institute for Health and Sport, Victoria University, Melbourne 8001, Australia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Brain Sci. 2020, 10(10), 758;
Received: 14 September 2020 / Revised: 5 October 2020 / Accepted: 16 October 2020 / Published: 20 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis Research—Series II)
Until recently, in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the contribution of B cells has been largely underestimated, and the disease was considered a T-cell-mediated disorder. However, newer evidence shows that B cells play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of MS via antigen-driven autoantibody responses and through the cross regulation of T-helper cells. As B cells express the surface molecule CD20 at all points of differentiation, it provides a specific target for monoclonal antibodies, and the development and clinical testing of anti-CD20 antibody treatments for MS have been successful. After some observations, some small clinical trials found positive effects for the first anti-CD20 therapeutic rituximab in MS; newer agents have been specifically evaluated, resulting in the development of ocrelizumab and ofatumumab. Ocrelizumab, a humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, was approved in March 2017 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is also the first proven therapy to reduce disability progression in primary progressive MS. This is particularly significant considering that disease-modifying treatment options are few for both primary and secondary progressive MS. Ofatumumab, a fully human anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, that binds a distinct epitope, has been further investigated in phase 3 trials for relapsing forms of MS. In this review, we discuss in detail these two anti-CD20 agents and their advent for treatment of MS. View Full-Text
Keywords: monoclonal antibodies; multiple sclerosis; B-cell therapies; safety monoclonal antibodies; multiple sclerosis; B-cell therapies; safety
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MDPI and ACS Style

Florou, D.; Katsara, M.; Feehan, J.; Dardiotis, E.; Apostolopoulos, V. Anti-CD20 Agents for Multiple Sclerosis: Spotlight on Ocrelizumab and Ofatumumab. Brain Sci. 2020, 10, 758.

AMA Style

Florou D, Katsara M, Feehan J, Dardiotis E, Apostolopoulos V. Anti-CD20 Agents for Multiple Sclerosis: Spotlight on Ocrelizumab and Ofatumumab. Brain Sciences. 2020; 10(10):758.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Florou, Despoina, Maria Katsara, Jack Feehan, Efthimios Dardiotis, and Vasso Apostolopoulos. 2020. "Anti-CD20 Agents for Multiple Sclerosis: Spotlight on Ocrelizumab and Ofatumumab" Brain Sciences 10, no. 10: 758.

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