Background: Oral BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate), approved for the treatment of the relapsing forms of MS, has demonstrated clinical efficacy with an acceptable safety profile in the Phase III "Determination of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Fumarate in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS)" (DEFINE) and "Comparator and an Oral Fumarate in RRMS" (CONFIRM) studies.
Objectives: To evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) impairment that is associated with RRMS and to assess the effects of BG-12 on HRQoL in the DEFINE study.
Methods: Patients with RRMS were randomized to BG-12 240 mg twice (BID) or three times (TID) daily, or placebo, for 2 years. HRQoL was assessed by the Short Form-36 (SF-36), global assessment of well-being visual analog scale and the EuroQol-5D.
Results: In the 1237 patients from DEFINE, HRQoL impairment was greatest in patients who had higher disability scores and in those who had experienced relapse. Change in SF-36 physical component summary scores during 2 years' treatment significantly favored BG-12 over placebo (both doses: p < 0.001). We saw similar benefits in other measures of functioning and general well-being as early as Week 24. These benefits were maintained during the study.
Conclusions: Our results add to evidence for a negative impact of RRMS on HRQoL and they demonstrate the benefits of BG-12 on HRQoL measures, which coupled with significant clinical efficacy, further support its use as a new treatment for RRMS.
Keywords: BG-12; DEFINE; dimethyl fumarate; multiple sclerosis; quality of life; randomized controlled trial; relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis.