The European Commission has approved the first disease-modifying therapy, ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), for early primary progressive MS (PPMS). The treatment has also been licensed for people with relapsing MS. Early PPMS is defined according to the duration of MS symptoms, level of disability and MRI results.

This approval follows a recommendation in November from the body responsible for drug licensing in Europe, the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Decisions about availability, price and reimbursement will now be made at a national level by each member state across Europe.

In clinical trials focusing on primary progressive MS, researchers found that ocrelizumab reduced the risk of disability progression by 24 per cent, compared to participants who took a placebo.

The treatment was approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2017.

MSIF continues to work with the International Progressive MS Alliance in accelerating access to treatments for everyone with progressive MS.