New drug approved in Scotland for MS

People living in Scotland can now be prescribed Kesimpta (ofatumumab),

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has recommended. It will be available for those who have relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) who are experiencing relapses or have disease activity visible with an MRI scan.

A benefit of Kesimpta is that it doesn’t require hospital visits – people can self-inject it once a month under the skin. In clinical trials, the drug reduced relapse risk by 50-59% when compared with Aubagio. It also reduced the progression of disability as well as the number of lesions seen in scans.

Made by Novartis, Kesimpta works in a similar way to Ocrevus. It binds to the CD20 marker on the surface of B cells, which are thought to be involved in the immune system’s attack on myelin, and destroys them.

The drug was approved for use on the NHS in England in April.