Two studies of a new pill for multiple sclerosis (MS) suggest it may reduce relapses and disability progression in people with the more common, relapsing-remitting form of the neurological condition, which accounts for around 85% of cases.
The studies report the results of two phase 3 clinical trials, DEFINE and CONFIRM, evaluating oral BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) for the treatment of MS. They are published in the 19 September online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM.
The dose used in the trials was 240 mg of dimethyl fumarate, administered twice daily, or three times a day.
The results show that at this dose, compared to placebo, the drug resulted in significant and clinically meaningful reductions in MS relapses and brain lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting MS, as well as some benefit in slowing disease progression.