Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyMSTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
Resources
About MyMSTeam
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
NEWS

Study of MS Drug Ocrevus Seeks Black and Hispanic Participants

Posted on December 10, 2021
Medically reviewed by
Evelyn O. Berman, M.D.
Article written by
Anika Brahmbhatt

  • The CHIMES study aims to investigate the effectiveness of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) on Black and Hispanic Americans living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • MS relapses are more severe in Black and Hispanic Americans, yet fewer than 1 percent of 60,000 studies about relapsing MS have focused on these groups.
  • Researchers are actively seeking participants for the study, which entails being treated with ocrelizumab for one year.

Black and Hispanic Americans with multiple sclerosis have long been underrepresented in multiple sclerosis clinical trials, despite having higher rates of disability, more severe symptoms, and worse self-rated health scores due to the disease.

Pharmaceutical company Genentech is breaking that trend through its CHIMES study, a late-stage clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of the drug ocrelizumab on Black and Hispanic Americans living with relapsing forms of MS. About 85 percent of people with MS are initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, as opposed to progressive MS.

Sold as Ocrevus, ocrelizumab was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017 to treat MS.

Historically, Black and Hispanic Americans with MS have had limited opportunities to participate in clinical research as compared to white Americans. Out of almost 60,000 studies published about relapsing multiple sclerosis, fewer than 1 percent have related specifically to Black and Hispanic Americans.

Clinical trials like the CHIMES study can shape fields of knowledge and define what responses to different therapies are accepted as typical by health care providers. Ensuring broad representation of people from different backgrounds is important: Limiting medical studies to a single racial or ethnic group can lead to blind spots in the studies’ findings, which can have real-life implications in clinical practice. Understanding how to effectively treat someone’s MS symptoms has to start with understanding how MS affects different groups in unique ways.

With MS specifically, it’s particularly important to investigate the effects of different treatments on various populations. MS relapses are more severe in Black and Hispanic Americans. Previous research has found African ancestry to be a risk factor for faster MS disease progression and greater atrophy of the brain and spinal cord. Hispanic Americans with MS, in addition to having higher disability scores than their white counterparts, also have the highest rates of pain, depression, and anxiety of any racial group among those with MS.

Researchers for the CHIMES study are recruiting participants ages 18 to 65 who self-identify as Black or Hispanic American. All participants will receive an initial dose of ocrelizumab, as two separate infusions, via an IV. Additional doses will be given every 24 weeks for up to a total of two years.

Learn more about the study

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Evelyn O. Berman, M.D. is a neurology and pediatric specialist and treats disorders of the brain in children. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about her here.
Anika Brahmbhatt is an undergraduate student at Boston University, where she is pursuing a dual degree in media science and psychology. Learn more about her here.

Related articles

Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) can complicate decisions about what supplements and...

Using Vitamins and Supplements Safely With MS: What To Avoid

Being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) can complicate decisions about what supplements and...
Red wine is sometimes called a “superfood” because of its antioxidants — substances that help...

Red Wine and MS: Potential Benefits and Risks

Red wine is sometimes called a “superfood” because of its antioxidants — substances that help...
Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are sensitive to heat. In fact, even a quarter- or...

Cooling Vests for MS: Benefits, Uses, and More

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are sensitive to heat. In fact, even a quarter- or...
Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a costly disease to treat. Prescription drugs, disease-modifying...

Insurance and Financial Resources for People With MS

Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a costly disease to treat. Prescription drugs, disease-modifying...
Some people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) may need to undergo a hysterectomy. During this...

Does MS Get Better or Worse After Hysterectomy?

Some people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) may need to undergo a hysterectomy. During this...
Raising awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS) helps contribute to the well-being, support, and...

MS Symbols: Ribbons, Butterflies, and Why Awareness Matters

Raising awareness of multiple sclerosis (MS) helps contribute to the well-being, support, and...

Recent articles

A person can develop multiple sclerosis (MS) at any age, but the condition is most often...

What Is the Average Age for a Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis?

A person can develop multiple sclerosis (MS) at any age, but the condition is most often...
If you're living with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may wonder how moderate or heavy alcohol consumption could affect your disease and overall well-being.

MS and Alcohol: What Are the Effects?

If you're living with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may wonder how moderate or heavy alcohol consumption could affect your disease and overall well-being.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that disrupts the signals between your brain...

Bladder Spasms and MS: Understanding the Connection

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that disrupts the signals between your brain...
Muscle spasms are common among people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and they can feel worse at...

Why Are MS Muscle Spasms Worse at Night?

Muscle spasms are common among people with multiple sclerosis (MS), and they can feel worse at...
In partnership with GoodRx
If you’re sensitive to temperatures — especially heat — and your multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms...

MS and Fever: Managing Symptoms and Body Temperature

If you’re sensitive to temperatures — especially heat — and your multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms...
MS News
MS News

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close