Positive top-line results have been reported from CONFIRM, the second of two pivotal phase III clinical trials designed to evaluate the investigational oral compound BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Results showed that 240 mg of BG-12, administered twice a day (BID) or three times a day (TID), demonstrated significant efficacy and favorable safety and tolerability profiles. Further analyses of the CONFIRM study are ongoing, and Biogen Idec, the company developing BG-12, anticipates presenting detailed data at a future medical meeting.
BG-12 met the CONFIRM study's primary endpoint by significantly reducing annualized relapse rate (ARR) by 44 percent for BID and by 51 percent for TID versus placebo at two years. The CONFIRM study's reference comparator, glatiramer acetate (GA; 20 mg subcutaneous daily injection), reduced the ARR by 29 percent compared with placebo at two years.
Initial results showed that BG-12 reduced 12-week confirmed disability progression as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) by 21 percent for BID and 24 percent for TID at two years compared to placebo, and GA reduced confirmed disability progression by 7 percent.
"We now have strong positive results for BG-12 in two robust pivotal clinical trials with more than 2,600 patients," said Doug Williams, Ph.D., Biogen Idec's Executive Vice President of Research and Development. "We are gratified by these strong efficacy and safety results, which, when combined with BG-12's oral route of administration, position it as a potentially important MS therapy. We are working aggressively to prepare our regulatory submissions with the goal of making BG-12 available to MS patients as quickly as possible."
In CONFIRM, both dose regimens of BG-12 showed favorable safety and tolerability profiles, which were similar to those seen in the previous late-stage study known as DEFINE. Overall, the incidence of adverse events (AEs), serious adverse events (SAEs) including serious infections, and discontinuations due to AEs were similar across all study groups, including placebo. The incidence of hepatic and renal events was also comparable among all study groups. The most common AEs in the BG-12 groups were flushing and GI events. There were no malignancies in the BG-12 groups.
Biogen Idec presented data from DEFINE, at the 5th Joint Triennial Congress of the European and Americas Committees on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS and ACTRIMS) in October 2011.