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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS PATIENTS WAIT ON NEW DRUG


                                                                  
  
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017 09:54PM
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On a good day, watching Sarah Warto climb the stairs you might not guess that she suffers from multiple sclerosis. But shortly after the birth of her daughter, 2.5 years ago symptoms kicked in.

"It effected my ability to walk. That was probably the biggest issue for me because as the mother of a newborn child all I wanted to do was get up and run around after her," Warto said.

Now, she's waiting on the potential approval of a new drug that could change the course of her disease, and possibly her life.

Stephen Hauser, M.D. of UCSF helped oversee testing of the drug.

It was developed by Bay Area-based Genentech, and it's clinical name is Ocrelizumab.

Hauser says it was able to disrupt symptoms in the less severe form of multiple sclerosis, called relapsing. "Ocrelizumab has been able to nearly completely stop disease activity in people with relapsing and remitting forms of Multiple Sclerosis," Hauser said.

He says it was even able to reduce symptoms from the much more damaging form of the disease called progressive, which can ultimately rob patients of the ability to move on their own. "So for people with relapsing MS this is spectacular news. And for people with progressive MS the door is finally open," Hauser said.

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