The Roche multiple sclerosis drug, to be sold under the brand name Ocrevus, is the first FDA-approved treatment for the more severe primary progressive (PPMS) form of the disease. PPMS patients, accounting for about 10% of cases, suffer from steadily worsening neurological and motor symptoms.
The FDA also approved Ocrevus to treat the more common relapsing remitting form of multiple sclerosis. These patients, about 90% of cases, also experience degenerative symptoms but as intermittent episodes of exacerbation and recovery.
Analysts have forecast Ocrevus peak sales of $4-5 billion. Roche will have the progressive segment to itself. Competition for relapsing MS will be more...