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Oct 30 2019 Vumerity: New Oral MS Medication FDA-approved
Vumerity is a twice a day oral medication for patients with multiple sclerosis. The active ingredient of Vumerity is diroximel fumarate, which is rapidly converted to monomethyl fumarate in the body. Similarly dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera) is also converted to monomethyl fumarate. Therefore, Vumerity would be expected to the same benefits as Tecfidera on multiple sclerosis such as 53% reduction of relapses, 38% reduction in likelihood of disability progression and 90% reduction on active contrast MRI lesions (DEFINE trial).
Full results of the EVOLVE-MS trials are pending including the EVOLVE-MS-1 study, a Phase 3, open-label, two-year safety study and the EVOLVE-MS-2 study, a Phase 3, five-week randomized, prospective, double-blind, multi-center study that assessed the gastrointestinal (GI) tolerability of VUMERITY and TECFIDERA using self-administered GI questionnaires. Based on preliminary results of EVOLVE-MS-1 study that I presented at ECTRIMS in September 2019, approximately 30% of Vumerity had gastrointestinal side effect but less than 1% discontinue due to this side effect. Lymphocyte (type of white blood cell) monitor is important to reduce potential risk of PML, a brain viral infection. Thanks to all of our patients who participated in the clinical trials.
Multiple sclerosis experts share advice on how to substantially improve your care when interacting with your neurologist. Key insights to develop trust and understanding with your doctor reviewed. Compelling info to help you advocate and communicate your desires and needs. Specific ways to make the most of your appointments addressed. Difficult questions are tackled such as progressive disease and long-term planning. Managing MS symptoms and wellness highlighted. Benefits of reviewing MRI images in the exam room outlined. Excellent tips on how to access free medication and MRI programs for people who are uninsured or have high out-of-pocket costs.
Barry Singer MD, Director of The MS Center of Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center interviews:
Flavia Nelson MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Director Multiple Sclerosis Division at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She completed her residency and multiple sclerosis fellowship at University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Nelson has served as Chair of Department of Defense Panel for Multiple Sclerosis Research Program, committee member on Consortium of MS Centers MRI Guidelines Committee and Chair of International Advisory Board on Brain Atrophy and MS (2016).
Timothy West MD, MS Neurologist, Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah. Dr. West completed medical school at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and fulfilled his residency in neurology at UCSF. He has had extensive experience and research in the area of MS, including at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Nevada, the Sansum Clinic in California, and the UCSF MS Center in California.
At ECTRIMS in Stockholm in September 2019, Dr. Barry Singer was interviewed by Shift.ms about a way to routinely monitor someone’s cognition at regular neurology appointments. Using an iPad, the rate at which someone processes information (processing speed test) can be measured in just 2 minutes and then immediately compared to people without multiple sclerosis with same age and education background. Approximately half of people with MS had trouble with short-term memory loss, multitasking problems and/or word finding difficulties. If someone living with MS performs well, great news and continue treatment. If losing ground on the test, best to review MRI imaging and possibly consider other treatment options.