Covid-19 in Ocrelizumab-treated people with Multiple Sclerosis

The objective was to better understand the SARS-CoV-2 infection in ocrelizumab-treated people with MS.

The results show:

Roche/Genentech clinical trial data:

There were 51 (1.3%) suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 identified from 4,000 patients ongoing in 10 Roche/Genentech clinical trials. Of these, 26 (51%) were confirmed COVID-19 and 25 (49%) were suspected COVID-19. Sixteen (31.4%) patients were hospitalized. COVID-19 severity was mild to moderate in most patients (35, 68.6%). Ten (19.6%) patients had severe disease and there were three (5.9%) fatal cases. Most patients (43, 84.3%) recovered or were recovering. There was no association apparent between duration of exposure to ocrelizumab and COVID-19. Among COVID-19 patients with previous serum immunoglobulin status (27/51, 52.9%), all (27/27, 100%) had IgG levels within the normal range.

Roche/Genentech post-marketing safety database data:

There were 307 post-marketing cases of COVID-19 in the Roche/Genentech global safety database. Of these, 263 (85.7%) were confirmed and 44 (14.3%) were suspected COVID-19. 100 (32.6%) patients were hospitalized. COVID-19 was asymptomatic, mild or moderate in 143 (46.6%) patients, severe in 52 (16.9%) patients, and critical in 15 (4.9%) patients. There were 17 (5.5%) fatal cases. Information on severity was not reported in 80 (26.1%) cases. Most patients (211, 68.7%) recovered or were recovering at the time of the report.

External RWD data source:

As of July 13, 2020, the OPTUMⓇ database included EHRs for almost 1.2 million patients with suspected COVID-19, 130,500 of whom met the criteria for confirmed/clinically diagnosed COVID-19. A total of 357 patients with MS with confirmed COVID-19 were identified. Forty-eight (13.4%) were treated with ocrelizumab, of whom 12 (25.0%) were hospitalized and one died (2.1%). Similar rates of hospitalization, invasive ventilation, and death were observed in the ocrelizumab-treated and non-ocrelizumab-treated MS cohorts.
Across the Roche/Genentech and RWD sources assessed, age, male sex, and the presence of comorbidities such as hypertension were associated with a more severe disease course of COVID-19. There was a higher number of comorbidities present in hospitalized versus non-hospitalized patients.

Conclusions

This assessment provides evidence that COVID-19 in ocrelizumab-treated people with MS is predominantly mild to moderate in severity with most patients not requiring hospitalization; in line with data reported from the general population and MS datasets. Risk factors known to be associated with severe COVID-19 outcomes in the general population also appear to influence COVID-19 severity in ocrelizumab-treated people with MS. Case fatality rates for ocrelizumab-treated people with MS were within published ranges for the general population and other MS cohorts.

Further information, statistics and graphs can be found on the MSARD website:  https://www.msard-journal.com/article/S2211-0348%2820%2930799-9/fulltext

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Julia Howell

Trustee

Julia is a qualified nurse and midwife, with a varied career including specialising in eating disorders, primary healthcare, and management.    

Julia, in partnership with a GP, set up an outpatient clinical trials unit (Southern Clinical Trials). Under her leadership this grew into a network of 6 sites across NZ. This network merged with another one in 2021 to form PCRN, NZ’s largest clinical trials network. Julia is currently working as joint COO for PCRN.

Julia’s daughter was diagnosed with MS aged 14 and she has been intimately involved with her management over the years.

 

Jan Campbell

Trustee

Born in Ōtautahi Jan trained as a nurse in Christchurch, as a midwife in Winchester, UK and has a degree in philosophy with particular interest in healthcare and business ethics.

After working in the public health system in the UK and NZ, Jan joined Roche Pharmaceuticals based in Auckland in 1999. As a respected senior leader and Medical Director, she established a medical division over the ensuing 20 years responsible for significant investment in clinical trials in NZ, developing a top-class global medicine information service, compassionate medicine supply for kiwis in need, pharmacovigilance oversight and a team working closely with patients, specialists, MEDSAFE and PHARMAC to support the safe and appropriate use of Roche medicines.

As a retiree Jan has volunteered for Mercy Hospice in Auckland and the WBoP Museum in Katikati. Now living in Ōtepoti, Jan sits on both the MS Research Trust and MSNZ executive committees with a keen interest to ensure people with MS get a fair go in NZ.

Dr Elza Cloete

Trustee

Elza is a Neonatal Paediatrician at Christchurch Women’s Hospital. Originally from South Africa, she moved to New Zealand in 2006 and completed her specialist training in Auckland.

Subsequent to that she embarked on doctoral studies at the University of Auckland’s Liggins Institute and obtained a PhD investigating congenital heart disease in new-born babies.

Elza received the Vice-Chancellor’s award for best doctoral thesis for her research and is the author of several research publications. She moved to Christchurch in 2020 for a work opportunity in clinical practice.

Elza was diagnosed with MS in 2012 and brings a consumer perspective and research experience to the Trust.

Dr Ernie Willoughby

Trustee

Dr Willoughby has been a consultant neurologist at Auckland City Hospital (1979 to 2021 – now retired, emeritus) and clinical associate professor at Auckland University School of Medicine.

He directed the MS clinic at Auckland Hospital, has had a long association with the Auckland and NZ MS Societies, and is a member of the International Medical and Scientific Board of the MS International Federation.

Dr Brian Linehan

Independent Trustee

Dr Brian Linehan is a retired pathologist who was previously Managing Director of Medlab Hamilton.

He is currently Chairman of the Tranmere group of investment companies and a Director of a number of other private companies. In 2014, he retired after 12 years on the Council of the University of Waikato where he was Pro-Chancellor.

He is a past Chairman of the New Zealand Medical Association, past Chairman of NZMA Ethics Committee, past President and Chairman of CMAAO (Combined Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania) and past Chairman of IANZ (International Accreditation NZ).

Brian was diagnosed with MS in 2007 but is still active and mobile.

Peter Wood - JP, BCom, AGNZ, ACIS, FNZTA

Treasurer

Peter gained his commerce degree at Victoria University of Wellington and has been practising as a Chartered Accountant initially in Wellington and then in Tauranga.

Peter was a respected and trusted advisor to many businesspeople.
He is now resident in Auckland and consultants to a limited number business clients.

He has also served his community through involvement with Jaycees, Lions and Rotary clubs and a number of charitable trusts.

Peter is currently the Treasurer of Multiple Sclerosis Auckland and a trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis Auckland Trust. Peter is a Justice of the Peace and a member Governance New Zealand and is a Fellow of the NZ Trustees’ Association.

Neil Woodhams

Trustee

Neil is an independent health management consultant who has had an extensive career in health management as a senior manager or consultant to government, DHBs, primary care and community providers. 

Neil is President of MS New Zealand and a trustee of the MS Auckland Region Trust. Neil was also President of MS Auckland until he stepped down from this role mid-2020 to concentrate on his national roles.

Neil’s wife was diagnosed with MS in 1994. One of his four sons was also diagnosed in 2010.

Neil strongly believes in the objectives of the NZ Multiple Sclerosis Research Trust and has advocated for the establishment of the Trust for over 10 years.

Sir William Gallagher

Trustee

Sir William is renowned as a motivational, pragmatic and hands-on businessman in and outside of New Zealand and has a reputation both as a dynamic leader and one of NZ’s most astute businessmen.

Still very involved in the daily operation, he maintains regular contact with customers in the 130 countries in which Gallagher products are sold spending up to 150 days a year on the road representing the company and its philosophies and emphasising the ethics and integrity of his professional and personal dealings.

His achievements have been officially recognised by a string of awards, the latest to mark his commitment to enterprise and leadership skills being his Knighthood in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List. He was also the 1996 winner of the prestigious Excellence in Communication Leadership award, the first time in its history that it had been awarded outside of North America. He also received an MBE in 1987 followed by a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 1998.

Sir William Gallagher - KNZM, MBE. HonD

Patron

Sir William is renowned as a motivational, pragmatic and hands-on businessman in and outside of New Zealand and has a reputation both as a dynamic leader and one of NZ’s most astute businessmen.

Still very involved in the daily operation, he maintains regular contact with customers in the 130 countries in which Gallagher products are sold spending up to 150 days a year on the road representing the company and its philosophies and emphasising the ethics and integrity of his professional and personal dealings.

His achievements have been officially recognised by a string of awards, the latest to mark his commitment to enterprise and leadership skills being his Knighthood in the 2010 New Year’s Honours List. He was also the 1996 winner of the prestigious Excellence in Communication Leadership award, the first time in its history that it had been awarded outside of North America. He also received an MBE in 1987 followed by a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 1998.