ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis said on Wednesday that an older leukaemia drug it is re-purposing for multiple sclerosis halted disease activity in many patients during the first two years of injections as the Swiss drugmaker takes aim at Roche’s lucrative Ocrevus infusion.

An analysis of ofatumumab, also known as Arzerra, showed 47.0% and 87.8% of patients achieved no evidence of disease activity within the first and second year of treatment, respectively, Novartis said in a statement.

(Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)