SAN DIEGO – New industry-funded research finds that
“The fundamental conclusion is that there’s little to separate them. If you look at efficacy, safety, and MRI scanning, there were no differences between the two medications that matter. ... Both drugs can be used with equal confidence,” said, medical director of Providence MS Center in Portland, Ore.
Dr. Cohan spoke in aat the meeting held by the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.
The researchers analyzed retrospective data collected in the (Aubagio) daily or 240 mg of delayed-release dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera) twice daily., which tracked two groups of 50 patients each at MS centers in the United States as they took 14 mg of teriflunomide
In both groups, participants had an average age of about 49 years, about three-quarters were women, and about 93% were white. Twenty-two percent of those in the teriflunomide group had relapses in the 18 months before the index date, compared with 10% of the dimethyl fumarate group.
The study – funded by Sanofi, maker of teriflunomide – followed up with patients at a mean of 15-16 months.
Mean annualized percentage of brain volume change (PBVC) was lower in teriflunomide-treated patients, compared with those treated with dimethyl fumarate (–0.2% vs. –0.5%; P = .02). Also, fewer teriflunomide-treated patients showed signs of annualized PBVC above a mean annualized brain volume loss rate threshold of 0.4% (25.9% vs. 58.6%; P = .01).
As for adverse effects, rashes affected none of the teriflunomide group but 28% of the dimethyl fumarate group. The teriflunomide group experienced skin reactions (12%) and diarrhea (16%), while these adverse events were not reported in the dimethyl fumarate group.
The study authors reported a variety of disclosures, and several are employees of Sanofi. Dr. Cohan reported a variety of disclosures, including multiple relationships with Sanofi.