Prediction of multiple sclerosis outcomes when switching to ocrelizumab

Michael Zhong, Anneke van der Walt, Jim Stankovich, Tomas Kalincik, Katherine Buzzard, Olga Skibina, Cavit Boz, Suzanne Hodgkinson, Mark Slee, Jeannette Lechner-Scott, Richard Macdonell, Julie Prevost, Jens Kuhle, Guy Laureys, Liesbeth Van Hijfte, Raed Alroughani, Allan G. Kermode, Ernest Butler, Michael Barnett, Sara EichauVincent van Pesch, Pierre Grammond, Pamela McCombe, Rana Karabudak, Pierre Duquette, Marc Girard, Bruce Taylor, Wei Yeh, Mastura Monif, Melissa Gresle, Helmut Butzkueven, Vilija G. Jokubaitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Increasingly, people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) are switched to highly effective disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) such as ocrelizumab. Objective: To determine predictors of relapse and disability progression when switching from another DMT to ocrelizumab. Methods: Patients with RRMS who switched to ocrelizumab were identified from the MSBase Registry and grouped by prior disease-modifying therapy (pDMT; interferon-β/glatiramer acetate, dimethyl fumarate, teriflunomide, fingolimod or natalizumab) and washout duration (<1 month, 1–2 months or 2–6 months). Survival analyses including multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to identify predictors of on-ocrelizumab relapse within 1 year, and 6-month confirmed disability progression (CDP). Results: After adjustment, relapse hazard when switching from fingolimod was greater than other pDMTs, but only in the first 3 months of ocrelizumab therapy (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.57–11.11, p = 0.004). The adjusted hazard for CDP was significantly higher with longer washout (2–6 m compared to <1 m: HR = 9.57, 95% CI = 1.92–47.64, p = 0.006). Conclusion: The risk of disability worsening during switch to ocrelizumab is reduced by short treatment gaps. Patients who cease fingolimod are at heightened relapse risk in the first 3 months on ocrelizumab. Prospective evaluation of strategies such as washout reduction may help optimise this switch.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-969
Number of pages12
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number6
Early online date8 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


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