New drug approved in Scotland for MS

Published: 13 July 2021

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.