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Kesimpta vs Ocrevus: In-depth Comparison (2023)

Explore a comprehensive comparison between Kesimpta and Ocrevus in treating Multiple Sclerosis. Delve into their efficacy, cost, and patient experiences, alongside insightful perspectives on integrating these treatments within holistic and personalized care approaches for optimal patient outcomes.

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological condition affecting numerous individuals worldwide. The quest for better management and treatment has led to the development of innovative drugs like Kesimpta and Ocrevus.

This article delves into a comparative analysis to assist readers in understanding the nuances between these two drugs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Both Kesimpta and Ocrevus are classified as CD20 monoclonal antibodies designed to modulate the immune system.
  • They have distinct administration methods; Kesimpta is a subcutaneous solution, while Ocrevus is an intravenous solution.
  • The cost of therapy is a differentiating factor, with Kesimpta being priced higher than Ocrevus.

Feature Kesimpta Ocrevus
Drug class Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody
Administration Subcutaneous injection Intravenous infusion
Dosing frequency 1 injection every 4 weeks 2 infusions per year (1 every 6 months)
Infusion time N/A Approximately 3.5 hours for first dose, 2 hours for subsequent doses
MOA Binds to CD20 on B cells, leading to B cell depletion Same MOA as Kesimpta
Approved indications Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis Relapsing and primary progressive forms of multiple sclerosis
Efficacy Reduced annualized relapse rate by 50% vs placebo in RMS patients Reduced annualized relapse rate by 47% vs interferon beta-1a in RMS patients
Safety Infusion reactions are not a concern due to subcutaneous administration. Injection site reactions may occur. Infusion reactions are common, especially with first infusion. Pre-medication is recommended.
Monitoring No infusion monitoring required Infusion reactions and vital signs should be monitored
Cost Around $88,000 per year Around $65,000 for initial year and $32,500 for subsequent years

kesimpta ms medication


Kesimpta, known by its generic name ofatumumab, is a medication approved for the management of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Its mechanism revolves around the CD20 protein found on B cells, a type of white blood cell implicated in the inflammatory responses seen in MS.

Mechanism of Action

Kesimpta targets and binds to the CD20 protein on B cells, marking them for destruction by the immune system. This action helps in reducing the inflammatory reactions associated with MS.

Administration and Monitoring

As a self-administered injection, there are no costs for office visits and nurse administration like other MS drugs. This reduces the total cost of treatment.However, labs and imaging are still required to monitor disease progression and side effects, adding to the total cost of care.

Delivery Method and Cost

  • Delivery Method: Kesimpta is administered as a subcutaneous solution, allowing for self-administration under the skin.
  • Cost: The annual cost for Kesimpta therapy stands at $83,000 in the US - this makes it one of the most expensive MS drugs on the market. This figure that is notably higher compared to Ocrevus. The out-of-pocket cost can range from $0 for patients with good insurance coverage to the full list price for uninsured patients.

Ocrevous vs kesimpta


Ocrevus, or ocrelizumab, is another pivotal medication in the MS treatment landscape. Like Kesimpta, Ocrevus targets the CD20 protein on B cells but is administered differently.

Mechanism of Action

The binding of Ocrevus to the CD20 protein induces a self-destruction sequence in B cells, thereby mitigating the inflammatory cascade seen in MS patients.

Delivery Method and Cost

  • Delivery Method: Unlike Kesimpta, Ocrevus is administered as an intravenous solution, requiring infusion sessions under medical supervision.
  • Cost: The annual cost for Ocrevus therapy is $65,000 in the US, making it a less expensive option compared to Kesimpta.

Clinical Comparison

A thorough examination of clinical trials and real-world data provides insights into the effectiveness and safety profiles of Kesimpta and Ocrevus.

The future of MS treatment could lean towards a personalized medicine approach, where treatment plans are tailored based on individual patient's genetic, clinical, and lifestyle factors. Kesimpta and Ocrevus, given their distinct mechanisms of action, might play crucial roles in such personalized treatment paradigms. Understanding the genetic and biochemical underpinnings that might dictate a patient's response to these drugs could help in devising personalized treatment plans, thereby optimizing the therapeutic outcomes and minimizing adverse effects.

Efficacy and Safety

Both drugs have shown promise in controlling the progression of MS. However, the main differentiation lies in the delivery system and cost, which could potentially influence the choice between Kesimpta and Ocrevus for many patients.

Feature Kesimpta Ocrevus
Mechanism of Action Targets CD20 Protein on B cells Targets CD20 Protein on B cells
Delivery Method Subcutaneous IV Infusion
Annual Cost (US) $83,000 $65,000

Side Effects and Drug Interactions

Both Kesimpta and Ocrevus have associated side effects and drug interactions that could influence the choice of treatment for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).


  • Common side effects: include injection site reactions, respiratory tract infections, and headache.
  • Serious side effects: might include infections due to immunosuppression.
  • Drug interactions: with immunosuppressants and other MS medications may occur.


  • Common side effects: include infusion reactions, upper respiratory tract infections, and skin infections.
  • Serious side effects: might include increased risk of cancers and infections due to immunosuppression.
  • Drug interactions: with immunosuppressants and other MS medications may occur as well.

Aspect Kesimpta Ocrevus
Common Side Effects Injection site reactions, respiratory tract infections, headache Infusion reactions, upper respiratory tract infections, skin infections
Serious Side Effects Infections due to immunosuppression Increased risk of cancers, infections due to immunosuppression
Drug Interactions Immunosuppressants, other MS medications Immunosuppressants, other MS medications

User Reviews and Ratings

The experiences of individuals who have used Kesimpta and Ocrevus provide insights into the real-world application of these drugs. Several platforms host reviews and ratings for both medications, shedding light on the positive and negative aspects from a user perspective.

  • Kesimpta: Generally, users appreciate the ease of self-administration but some report injection site reactions.
  • Ocrevus: Many users highlight the convenience of infrequent dosing, though infusion reactions are a concern.

Future Outlook

The competition between Kesimpta and Ocrevus reflects the broader landscape of MS treatment, where ongoing research and development efforts continue to drive innovation.

  • Market competition: The market share may shift as new data emerges and other disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are introduced.
  • New Clinical Trials: Ongoing and future clinical trials may provide further insights into the long-term effectiveness and safety of Kesimpta and Ocrevus.

Aspect Kesimpta Ocrevus
User Reviews Positive feedback on self-administration, some concerns on injection site reactions Positive feedback on infrequent dosing, concerns on infusion reactions
Future Clinical Trials Potential new trials to explore long-term effectiveness Potential new trials to explore long-term effectiveness and safety

With the advent of telemedicine and remote monitoring technologies, the management of MS is entering a new era. The ability to remotely monitor the symptoms and treatment response in real-time could significantly enhance the care delivery for MS patients on Kesimpta or Ocrevus. This remote care model could also facilitate better communication between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring timely adjustments in treatment regimens. Moreover, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze the remote monitoring data might uncover novel insights into how patients respond to Kesimpta and Ocrevus over time, paving the way for more informed treatment decisions.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Ocrevus better than Kesimpta?

  • Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and Kesimpta (ofatumumab) are both effective CD20-directed monoclonal antibody treatments for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS).
  • Head-to-head studies between Ocrevus and Kesimpta have not been conducted. Indirect comparisons suggest similar efficacy for reducing relapses and MRI lesions.
  • Ocrevus has additional FDA approval for primary progressive MS (PPMS) based on the ORATORIO trial showing reduced disability progression versus placebo. Kesimpta is only approved for RMS.

Can I switch from Ocrevus to Kesimpta?

Yes, patients can switch between Ocrevus and Kesimpta if medically warranted, but should first discuss with their neurologist.

  • When switching from Ocrevus to Kesimpta, Kesimpta can be started once Ocrevus levels are low enough, typically 6-8 months after the last Ocrevus infusion.
  • Kesimpta reaches full effectiveness 1-2 months after starting, so there may be a gap in efficacy when switching.

What is the cost of Ocrevus vs Kesimpta?

Ocrevus has an average wholesale price of $65,000 per year for the initial dosing and $32,500 per year for maintenance dosing.

  • Kesimpta has an average wholesale price of $128,000 per year.
  • The out-of-pocket cost for a patient depends on their specific insurance coverage. Kesimpta may have lower copays with a $0 copay program.

Is Ocrevus the best MS drug?

There is no definitive "best" MS medication. The most appropriate treatment depends on the individual patient's disease course, preferences, and access.

  • Ocrevus is considered very effective for controlling RMS and slowing PPMS progression. It is one of the highest efficacy DMTs.
  • Other highly effective DMTs include Lemtrada, Tysabri, and Mavenclad. Kesimpta also demonstrates high efficacy.

What is the most aggressive MS treatment?

Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) is considered the most aggressive and highest efficacy DMT for controlling active relapsing MS.

  • It provides long-term suppression of disease activity, but has serious side effects requiring extensive monitoring. It is generally used for highly active RMS failing other treatments.

What is the success rate of Kesimpta?

  • In clinical trials, Kesimpta reduced annualized relapse rates by 51% and MRI lesion activity by 99% compared to placebo in RMS patients over 2 years.
  • Over 50% of patients had no relapses and 75-81% had no MRI lesion activity while on Kesimpta in trials.

Is Kesimpta worth it?

For RMS patients, Kesimpta can be a very effective option with the convenience of self-administered monthly injections.

  • It may be preferred over Ocrevus for those wanting to avoid infusions or with high Ocrevus copays. Frequent monitoring is not required.
  • Kesimpta is expensive, so insurance approval and copay costs need evaluation. The $0 copay program can provide access despite high list price.

What is the most effective multiple sclerosis treatment?

The most effective DMTs for controlling RMS activity are generally considered to be:

  • Lemtrada
  • Ocrevus
  • Tysabri
  • Mavenclad
  • Kesimpta

These all demonstrate high efficacy in reducing relapse rates, MRI lesion activity, and disability progression. The choice depends on individual factors like treatment history, tolerability, safety monitoring, and cost.

While Kesimpta and Ocrevus are pivotal in managing the symptoms and progression of RMS and PPMS, integrating these treatments with holistic health approaches could potentially enhance the quality of life for MS patients. For instance, integrating lifestyle modifications such as a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and stress management techniques alongside these medications could create a comprehensive care plan. There might also be a potential for exploring how these medications interact with complementary therapies like acupuncture or mindfulness meditation in the realm of MS care.

Does Kesimpta slow MS progression?

Yes, Kesimpta can slow disability progression in active RMS. Its long-term effects are still under study.

  • Kesimpta significantly reduced disability progression compared to placebo in clinical trials of RMS patients.
  • After 2 years, only 16% of Kesimpta patients had 12-week confirmed disability progression versus 27% for placebo.

What is the safest MS drug?

  • The injectable platforms like glatiramer acetate (Copaxone, generics), interferon betas, and new B-cell therapies like Kesimpta are considered the safest options.
  • They have mild side effect profiles and low risks for major adverse events.
  • Lemtrada and Tysabri have higher risks that require frequent monitoring.

Does Ocrevus improve walking?

Ocrevus can help slow deterioration in walking ability in PPMS patients based on clinical trial evidence. Real-world data also supports its benefit.

  • In the ORATORIO PPMS trial, Ocrevus modestly but significantly reduced decline in timed 25-foot walk versus placebo over 120 weeks.
  • The percentage of patients with 12-week confirmed walking disability progression was 32.9% for Ocrevus versus 39.3% for placebo.

What is the most aggressive MS?

The most agressive form of MS is Active inflammatory RMS, it can also be very aggressive before transitioning to secondary progression.

  • Primary progressive MS (PPMS) is generally considered the most rapidly advancing and aggressive type of MS.
  • PPMS shows steady neurological decline from onset rather than relapses and remissions.
In summary, Ocrevus and Kesimpta have demonstrated high efficacy for controlling RMS activity without major safety risks. Ocrevus also benefits PPMS patients. While their effectiveness appears generally comparable for RMS, individual factors may favor one over the other. Kesimpta provides an additional treatment option, but its high cost requires careful evaluation.
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