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Pharmaceutical and Biotech News

Metabolic and inflammatory diseases and syndromes

May 19, 2010

Roche and Biogen Idec Announce Decision to Discontinue Phase 3 Ocrelizumab Clinical Development Program in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Ocrelizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that disrupts the inflammatory cascade in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by selectively targeting CD20 positive B cells.  Such activity relieves symptoms and prevents irreversible joint damage which can be very severe in affected patients.  The phase 3 program for ocrelizumab included four studies (SCRIPT, FILM, FEATURE, and STAGE). The clinical program was discontinued because of the high rate of opportunistic infections in patients receiving the drug.  Biogen Idec is still continuing the testing of this humanized antibody in multiple sclerosis in a collaboration agreement with Genentech..