Evaluating Ocrelizumab in the CHIMES Trial: Mitzi Joi Williams, MD


The founder and CEO of Joi Wellness Group Multiple Sclerosis Center described motivations behind the evaluation of ocrelizumab (Ocrevus; Genentech) in minority populations with multiple sclerosis.

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

“I think the biggest issue is that because we have such low numbers in our clinical trials, we don't really understand the role of any underlying biologic or genetic factors that may be playing a role, versus social determinants of health—access to care, insurance, [or] discrimination and bias on the part of healthcare providers. We don't have really a good understanding of what roles, or what proportions, those 2 things are playing in the disparate outcomes.”

The initiation of the CHIMES trial (NCT04377555) in minority populations with multiple sclerosis (MS) will evaluate the efficacy of ocrelizumab (Ocrevus; Genentech). According to Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, board certified neurology and multiple sclerosis specialist, and founder and CEO, Joi Life Wellness Group Multiple Sclerosis Center, the therapy was chosen due to studies that suggest the B-cell pathway may be more active in African American and Black individuals, as well as data showing that immunoglobulin G levels in the spinal fluid may be higher.

Following her presentation at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), October 25-28, Williams spoke with NeurologyLive on the measures being evaluated in the trial, which will also look into different biomarkers, including blood biomarkers, that have not been largely studied in African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino populations with MS. When asked about the higher prevalence of MS and resultant outcomes in these populations, Williams emphasized experts’ lack of understanding as to whether this is related to underlying genetic factors or if it is predominantly tied to social determinants of health.

For more coverage of CMSC 2021, click here.

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