The past 5 years of B-cell therapy in multiple sclerosis

In recent years, there have been significant advancements in the understanding of B cells and their role in the underlying biology of multiple sclerosis (MS). This understanding has led to breakthroughs in improving disease management and progression.

The immune system is made up of B cells and T cells that work together to fight infections. In people with MS, these cells are incorrectly activated and enter the brain which causes inflammation and damages the nervous system.1

Historically, MS was considered to be a T-cell mediated disease of the central nervous system until seminal studies by Dr. Stephen Hauser, MD, Director, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, demonstrated the importance of B cells in both inflammation and disease progression.

Collaboration between Dr. Hauser and Roche resulted in the clinical development of the first B-cell targeted MS therapy, and the large clinical trial programme enabled neurologists to gain a deeper understanding of the multiple roles the B cell plays in MS. With this, in the past few years B-cell therapies have revolutionised the management of relapsing and primary progressive MS, with the goal of slowing down disease progression.2

Many studies have shown that time is of the essence when it comes to disease progression. Roche-supported trials reinforced that initiation of treatment as early as possible after diagnosis is crucial for preserving function and improving long-term disease outcomes in MS.3

Hear from Dr. Hauser on the pivotal role B-cell therapy has played in improving the management of MS to date, and what the future of MS care could look like.


  1. Shellard, L. (2019) Targeting B cells to treat progressive MS, Multiple Sclerosis Society UK. Available at:(Accessed: April 03, 2023). 

  2. Greenfield AL, Hauser SL. B-cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: Entering an era. Ann Neurol. 2018;83(1):13-26.

  3. Cerqueira, J.J. et al. (2018) “Time Matters in multiple sclerosis: Can early treatment and long-term follow-up ensure everyone benefits from the latest advances in multiple sclerosis?,” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 89(8), pp. 844–850.

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