August 30, 2019 / 5:37 AM / 20 days ago

Novartis begins hunt for piece of Roche's growing MS empire

ZURICH, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Novartis on Friday announced positive study results for its prospective multiple sclerosis drug ofatumumab that the Swiss drugmaker hopes will pose a stiff challenge to Roche’s medicine Ocrevus in a highly competitive market.

Novartis said ofatumumab, already approved as Arzerra to treat leukaemia, demonstrated superiority versus Sanofi’s Aubagio in two head-to-head late-stage MS studies. But Novartis’s true target with ofatumumab is Ocrevus, the $2.4 billion-per-year blockbuster that Roche has branded its most successful drug launch ever. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)

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