Conference Recap

ECTRIMS 2021: Disease-Modifying Therapies for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis


Dr Joseph Berger of the Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia discusses abstracts from ECTRIMS 2021 focusing on the use of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Dr Berger discusses ULTIMATE I and ULTIMATE II results, in which ublituximab — a novel monoclonal antibody — improved annualized relapse rates, Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite scores, and percentages of patients with no evidence of disease activity compared to teriflunomide.

Dr Berger also highlights a study that examined the association between serum neurofilament light (NfL) levels and disease progression in patients on natalizumab. Although NfL levels were significantly reduced after initiation of therapy, no differences were evident between progressors and nonprogressors.

Next, he examines 3-year data from the CASTING study, which assessed ocrelizumab in patients who had a suboptimal response to one or two previous DMTs. Follow-up analysis showed that patients who received ocrelizumab had consistently low disease activity throughout the study period; mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, annualized relapse rates, and no evidence of disease activity were also stable.

Dr Berger concludes with a comparative analysis of patients who started on or switched to dimethyl fumarate or teriflunomide. Dimethyl fumarate showed more favorable outcomes in time to relapse, time to EDSS worsening, and sensitivity analysis.


Joseph R. Berger, MD, Professor; Associate Chief, Department of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis Division, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Joseph R. Berger, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:

Received research grant from: Biogen; Roche/Genentech

Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: Amgen; Biogen; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Celgene; Genzyme; Excision Bio; Dr. Reddy; Serono; Morphic; Novartis; Inhibikase; Morphic; Encycle; Merck; Mapi

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