Selective depletion of CD20+ B cells by anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies as monotherapy in multiple sclerosis (MS) profoundly suppresses acute inflammatory disease activity and signifies an important advance in the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS. Ocrelizumab, a humanized anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, is also the first proven therapy to lessen disability progression in primary progressive MS-a breakthrough for patients with a disease that had no proven therapy. Ocrelizumab is generally well tolerated, with the most common adverse events experienced being infusion reactions and infections. In ocrelizumab trials in MS a numerical imbalance in the risk of malignancies was observed. In this article, we review advances in anti-CD20 B-cell-depleting biological therapies for MS, including ocrelizumab, rituximab, and ofatumumab.
Keywords: B-cell-depleting therapy; Multiple sclerosis; ocrelizumab; progressive MS; relapsing-remitting MS; rituximab.