Ocrelizumab: A step forward in the evolution of B-cell therapy

Fariha Kausar, Khader Mustafa, Ghaleb Sweis, Ray Sawaqed, Khaldoon Alawneh, Rafah Salloum, Maria Badaracco, Timothy B. Niewold, Nadera J. Sweiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Recent advances in our understanding of B-cell dysregulation and its important link to autoimmunity have brought about a radical change in the management of autoimmune diseases. Over the past few years, encouraging data from several clinical trials of rituximab, a chimeric anti-CD20 antibody, have led to its approval for use in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These data, regarding clinical efficacy, safety, improved patient-reported outcomes and cost-effectiveness with the use of rituximab in patients with RA, have led to the exploration of other agents targeting B-cell functions. Ocrelizumab, a novel humanized anti-CD20 antibody, has shown clinical efficacy and safety in a recently reported trial in patients with RA. Future clinical trials will help evaluate further the role of ocrelizumab in RA and its potential use in other autoimmune diseases. This review describes current understanding of B-cell therapy, the role of rituximab in the treatment of RA and the evolving role of ocrelizumab as a B-cell-targeted therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-895
Number of pages7
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Anti-B cell agents
  • Anti-CD20 antibody
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Ocrelizumab
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Rituximab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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