Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who transitioned from natalizumab to dimethyl fumarate experienced a low risk for relapse according to research presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centres in Nashville, Tennessee.
Low risk of relapse was identified within one year, but some patients did show a small increase of disease activity on MRI following the transition to dimethyl fumarate.
The patients in this study were monitored using their medical records electronically from the University of Utah Health from March 2012 to the present.
Out of 512 patients being treated with natalizumab and/or dimethyl fumarate, 27 had transitioned from natalizumab to dimethyl fumarate. Only one subject out of 27 experienced a relapse within one year and five patients showed new enhancing or T2 lesions within one year of the switch. Around 8 per cent of the patients remained on dimethyl fumarate therapy.
Researchers concluded that the results “indicated a modest increase in disease activity” and suggests that “careful selection and monitoring” are required in patients who are making the transition in drugs.