Oral BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a review of DEFINE and CONFIRM. Evaluation of: Gold R, Kappos L, Arnold D, et al. Placebo-controlled phase 3 study of oral BG-12 for relapsing multiple sclerosis. N Engl J Med 2012;367:1098-107; and Fox RJ, Miller DH, Phillips JT, et al. Placebo-controlled phase 3 study of oral BG-12 or glatiramer in multiple sclerosis. N Engl J Med 2012;367:1087-97

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2013 Oct;14(15):2145-56. doi: 10.1517/14656566.2013.826190. Epub 2013 Aug 24.


Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system involving inflammation, chronic demyelination and axonal loss. MS affects more than 2 million people worldwide.

Areas covered: This article aims to summarize the findings from two pivotal 2-year, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase III studies of BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) for relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS): DEFINE (Determination of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Fumarate in RRMS) and CONFIRM (Comparator and an Oral Fumarate in RRMS). Results from both studies demonstrated that BG-12 provides clinical and radiological efficacy over 2 years across a range of outcomes. These results were apparent as early as 12 weeks and sustained over the course of both studies. BG-12 was found to have an acceptable safety profile, with a similar overall incidence of adverse events across all treatment groups.

Expert opinion: The combination of robust efficacy, ease of administration and established safety profile is unique to a new therapy in MS. Findings from the pivotal Phase III studies support BG-12 as a potential initial oral treatment for patients with RRMS or as an alternative to other currently available therapies.

Publication types

  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fumarates / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / drug therapy*
  • Peptides / therapeutic use*


  • Fumarates
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Peptides