Multiple Dialogues of MS

Welcome to BiogenTalks and Multiple Dialogues of MS. Podcasts are intended for Healthcare Professionals only. Please do not share or distribute. This podcast series contains interviews with some of the world-leading experts in Multiple Sclerosis. In each episode you will receive useful information and advice on important themes and relevant questions.

2021

The 2021 BiogenTalks episodes are hosted by Prof Robertson

Bio Professor Robertson

The 2021 episodes of BiogenTalks are hosted by Professor Derrick Robertson. Professor Robertson is Associate Professor of Neurology, Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Division, and Program Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship Program at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa, Florida, USA. His primary research interests include clinical trials assessing novel treatments for both relapsing–remitting and secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis as well as medical student and resident education. Professor Robertson is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is a member of the American Neurological Association, American Academy of Neurology, and Florida Society of Neurology.

Professor Ziemssen and Dr. Singer

Why is VUMERITYTM (diroximel fumarate) described as a next-generation fumarate?

Highlights from this conversation include: 

  • why VUMERITYTM is often described as a next-generation fumarate and bioequivalent to TECFIDERATM (dimethyl fumarate)
  • what we know about VUMERITYTM based on evidence from clinical trials and on real-world experience from US clinical practice, including how the improved tolerability profile of VUMERITYTM is associated with increased treatment persistence and adherence compared with TECFIDERATM
  • the impact that VUMERITYTM can have on patients’ quality of life.
Bio Professor Tjalf Ziemssen & Dr. Barry Singer

Professor Ziemssen is Director of the Center of Clinical Neuroscience with its Multiple Sclerosis Centre, Neuroimmunological Lab and Autonomic Lab at the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital, in Dresden, Germany.

Dr. Singer is Director and Founder of The MS Center for Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, USA. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, USA.

Further information

Associated References

  • Naismith RT, Wundes A, Ziemssen T, et al. EVOLVE-MS-2 Study Group. Diroximel Fumarate Demonstrates an Improved Gastrointestinal Tolerability Profile Compared with Dimethyl Fumarate in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Results from the Randomized, Double-Blind, Phase III EVOLVE-MS-2 Study. CNS Drugs. 2020 Feb;34(2):185-196.
  • EMA. An overview of Vumerity and why it is authorized in the EU. Available from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/overview/vumerity-epar-medicine-overview_en.pdf (Accessed 09 December 2021)
  • Wehr A, Hard M, Yu M, et al. Relative Bioavailability of Monomethyl Fumarate after Administration of ALKS 8700 and Dimethyl Fumarate in Healthy Subjects (P1.403). Neurology Apr 2018, 90 (15 Supplement) P1.403.
  • Naismith RT, Wolinsky JS, Wundes A, et al. Diroximel fumarate (DRF) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Interim safety and efficacy results from the phase 3 EVOLVE-MS-1 study. Mult Scler. 2020 Nov;26(13):1729-1739.
  • Gold R, Kappos L, Arnold DL, et al. DEFINE Study Investigators. Placebo-controlled phase 3 study of oral BG-12 for relapsing multiple sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2012 Sep 20;367(12):1098-107.

Links to SmPCs and additional prescribing information

Professor Ziemssen and Dr. Singer

A scenario-based discussion on the use of VUMERITYTM (diroximel fumarate) in clinical practice.

During this episode, Professor Robertson presents patient scenarios to Professor Ziemssen and Dr. Singer, and asks what their approach would be with regard to prescribing VUMERITYTM.

The scenarios include:

  • newly and/or recently diagnosed patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS)
  • patients experiencing side effects on their current therapy
  • young, female patients with mild-to-moderate RRMS
  • patients experiencing symptoms of MS disease activity on a first-line disease-modifying therapy.
Bio Professor Tjalf Ziemssen & Dr. Barry Singer

Professor Ziemssen is Director of the Center of Clinical Neuroscience with its Multiple Sclerosis Centre, Neuroimmunological Lab and Autonomic Lab at the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital, in Dresden, Germany.

Dr. Singer is Director and Founder of The MS Center for Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, USA. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, USA.

Further information

Associated References

  • Naismith RT, Wundes A, Ziemssen T, et al. EVOLVE-MS-2 Study Group. Diroximel Fumarate Demonstrates an Improved Gastrointestinal Tolerability Profile Compared with Dimethyl Fumarate in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Results from the Randomized, Double-Blind, Phase III EVOLVE-MS-2 Study. CNS Drugs. 2020 Feb;34(2):185-196.
  • Naismith RT, Wolinsky JS, Wundes A, et al. Diroximel fumarate (DRF) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Interim safety and efficacy results from the phase 3 EVOLVE-MS-1 study. Mult Scler. 2020 Nov;26(13):1729-1739.
  • Gold R, Kappos L, Arnold DL, et al. DEFINE Study Investigators. Placebo-controlled phase 3 study of oral BG-12 for relapsing multiple sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2012 Sep 20;367(12):1098-107.
  • Singer B, et al. Flushing and flushing-related adverse events with diroximel fumarate in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis: results from the Phase 3 EVOLVE-MS-2 Study. Presented at the 37th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), 13-15 October 2021.
  • Wray S, et al. Dimethyl Fumarate to Diroximel Fumarate Switch: Safety and Efficacy Findings from the Phase 3 EVOLVE-MS-1 Study. ACTRIMS Forum 2021. Multiple Sclerosis Journal. 2021;27(1_suppl):1-1.
  • Wray S et al., Diroximel fumarate in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: interim safety and efficacy results from the phase 3 evolve-MS-1 study. MSVirtual 2020. Multiple Sclerosis Journal. 2020;26(3_suppl):118-659.
  • von Hehn C, Howard J, Liu S, et al. Immune response to vaccines is maintained in patients treated with dimethyl fumarate. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2017 Nov 15;5(1):e409.

Links to SmPCs and additional prescribing information

Dr. Amy Sullivan

Healthcare provider burnout in MS care – why does it happen, and how can we combat it?

Highlights from this conversation include: 

  • causes of healthcare provider burnout and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this
  • how healthcare providers can recognize signs of burnout in themselves and their colleagues
  • how healthcare providers can combat burnout in themselves, and what support healthcare institutions can provide.
Bio Dr. Amy Sullivan

Dr. Sullivan is a clinical health psychologist and the Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA. She is also the Director of Caregiver Wellbeing at the Neurological Centre at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Sullivan is the principal investigator for several clinical trials, and her research interests are focused on MS pain, exercise and behavioural medicine. She therefore brings a unique perspective to the field of MS care with her combined expertise as a clinical health psychologist and in MS research. She's passionate about psychological health and led the efforts for the Mellen Center to win the national Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award for Best Practices by the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Amy Sullivan

Caregiver/care partner burnout in MS care – why does it happen, and how can we combat it?

Highlights from this conversation about care giver burnout, who we refer to as care partners, include:

  • challenges faced by care partners and factors that contribute to burnout
  • what healthcare providers should ask to check in with care partners
  • what healthcare providers and healthcare institutions can do to provide support to care partners.
Bio Dr. Amy Sullivan

Dr. Sullivan is a clinical health psychologist and the Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA. She is also the Director of Caregiver Wellbeing at the Neurological Centre at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Sullivan is the principal investigator for several clinical trials, and her research interests are focused on MS pain, exercise and behavioural medicine. She therefore brings a unique perspective to the field of MS care with her combined expertise as a clinical health psychologist and in MS research. She's passionate about psychological health and led the efforts for the Mellen Center to win the national Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award for Best Practices by the American Psychological Association.

Professor Ralf Gold

With up to 13 years of follow-up, how has TECFIDERA® (dimethyl fumarate) impacted on clinical practice for adult patients with RRMS?

Highlights from this conversation include: 

  • the applicability of the findings from the ENDORSE trial to the wider population of adult patients with RRMS eligible to receive TECFIDERA® in clinical practice  
  • how the findings from the ENDORSE trial have guided decision making in clinical practice, particularly for newly diagnosed patients 
  • recommendations for neurologists who are treating patients with TECFIDERA®.
Bio Professor Ralf Gold

Professor Gold is Chair of Neurology at St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. He is a founding member and on the board of the German Competence Network of Multiple Sclerosis. He was also on the executive board for ECTRIMS and panel leader for the European Federation of Neurological Societies. Professor Gold has been involved in the drug development programme for Tecfidera® since its inception, including the DEFINE, CONFIRM and ENDORSE trials. 

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

Can diet have a disease-modifying effect on MS?

Highlights from this conversation include: 

  • how to discuss diet with patients with MS 
  • the three main diets with a potential to have a disease-modifying effect on MS and the current evidence on this 
  • the evidence gaps surrounding the role that diet plays in patients with MS.
Bio Professor Gavin Giovannoni

Professor Giovannoni is an academic neurologist based at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London in the UK. His current research is focused on Epstein Barr virus as a possible cause of MS, MS-related neurodegeneration, biomarker discovery and validation, and MS clinical outcomes. 

Professor Gavin Giovannoni

What do we know about the gut microbiome in MS?

Highlights from this conversation include: 

  • the gut–immune–brain axis and how it relates to autoimmune disease 
  • the current understanding of how the gut microbiome can be influenced by lifestyle choices, such as diet, and the need for further research in this area 
  • how the gut microbiome may influence future treatment decision-making as our understanding of its role in drug metabolism grows.
Bio Professor Gavin Giovannoni

Professor Giovannoni is an academic neurologist based at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London in the UK. His current research is focused on Epstein Barr virus as a possible cause of MS, MS-related neurodegeneration, biomarker discovery and validation, and MS clinical outcomes. 

Professor Carlo Tornatore and Dr. Wallace Brownlee:

MS treatment in the era of COVID-19 (part 3): the impact of COVID-19 and the vaccination roll-out on the management and treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis.

This episode uses a case study-based approach to explore the following topics: 

  • Whether our choice and use of disease-modifying therapies have changed since the start of the pandemic and the roll-out of vaccinations 
  • The benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination in people with multiple sclerosis 
  • What measures, if any, people with multiple sclerosis should take to protect themselves from COVID-19, besides vaccination.
Bio Professor Carlo Tornatore & Dr. Wallace Brownlee

Professor Carlo Tornatore serves as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C., USA. He is also Regional Chief of Neurology for MedStar Health, Chairman and Neurologist-in-Chief at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and Executive Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Patient-Centered Specialty Practice MedStar Georgetown. Professor Tornatore has published extensively in the areas of clinical and translational neuroimmunology and neurovirology, and is actively involved in over 15 MS clinical trials. 

Dr. Wallace Brownlee is a Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Lead for the Multiple Sclerosis Service at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Honorary Associate Professor at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology in London, UK. Dr. Brownlee is Principal Investigator for a number of ongoing phase 3 clinical trials in MS and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, and Associate Editor of Multiple Sclerosis Journal, leading on case reports and social media.

Dr. Wallace Brownlee and Professor Carlo Tornatore:

MS treatment in the era of COVID-19 (part 4): what the future looks like for consultations and multiple sclerosis research.

This episode covers the following topics: 

  • Whether the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the diagnosis and care of people with multiple sclerosis, and any knock-on effects this may have had on disease course 
  • The advantages and disadvantages of teleneurology, and whether it is here to stay 
  • The impact of COVID-19 on research in multiple sclerosis, and how the future of multiple sclerosis research looks.
Bio Professor Carlo Tornatore & Dr. Wallace Brownlee

Dr. Wallace Brownlee is a Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Lead for the Multiple Sclerosis Service at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Honorary Associate Professor at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology in London, UK. Dr. Brownlee is Principal Investigator for a number of ongoing phase 3 clinical trials in MS and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, and Associate Editor of Multiple Sclerosis Journal, leading on case reports and social media.

Professor Carlo Tornatore serves as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C., USA. He is also Regional Chief of Neurology for MedStar Health, Chairman and Neurologist-in-Chief at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and Executive Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Patient-Centered Specialty Practice MedStar Georgetown. Professor Tornatore has published extensively in the areas of clinical and translational neuroimmunology and neurovirology, and is actively involved in over 15 MS clinical trials. 

Dr. Barry Singer and Dr. Amy Lovett-Racke:

MS treatment in the era of COVID-19 (part 5): the immunology of COVID-19 vaccinations in people with multiple sclerosis.

This episode is an excerpt from a discussion at the 2021 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting covering the following topics: 

  • The immune response to traditional and mRNA vaccines, and the issue of variants 
  • Markers of immunity to COVID-19, the impact of age on vaccine efficacy, and generating long-term immunity.
Bio Dr. Barry Singer & Dr. Amy Lovett-Racke

Dr. Barry Singer is Director and Founder of The MS Center for Innovations in Care at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Singer has been an investigator in over 35 MS clinical trials focused on new therapeutics. In 2016, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. His award-winning MS patient education website www.mslivingwell.org was created in 2007 and has been a valuable resource in more than 190 countries. 

Dr. Amy Lovett-Racke is a Professor in the Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity and a member of the Infectious Diseases Institute at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, USA. She is also a Section Editor for The Journal of Immunology and serves as a committee member for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Pathways to Cure MS. She has published extensively on the role of T cells and their interactions with other cells of the immune and central nervous systems in the onset and progression of MS.

2020

Professor Dr. Bart van Wijmeersch:

Walking impairment in Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Symptoms, evaluation, and the role of exercise.

Professor Dr. Bart van Wijmeersch:

Walking impairment in Multiple Sclerosis (MS): The latest research.

Professor Gabriel Pardo:

Sequencing therapies in Multiple Sclerosis: Opportunities and strategic thinking.

Professor Gabriel Pardo:

Sequencing therapies in Multiple Sclerosis: Managing patients throughout the disease journey.

Professor Carlo Tornatore and Dr. Wallace Brownlee:

MS treatment in the era of COVID-19 (part 1): Disease management, virtual consultations and the global data sharing initiative.

Professor Carlo Tornatore and Dr. Wallace Brownlee:

MS treatment in the era of COVID-19 (part 2): Immunology, vaccination readiness and the upcoming flu season.

Professor Thomas Berger:

Understanding the effects of MS treatment with patient-reported outcomes (PROs).

Professor Dr. Stefan Braune:

Personalized medicine in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Professor Dr. Tomas Kalincik and Professor Dr. Richard Nicholas:

Pearls and pitfalls of real-world evidence (RWE).

Professor Dr. Tomas Kalincik and Professor Dr. Richard Nicholas:

How can we improve real-world data collection in multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Dr. Orla Gray and Dr. Owen Pearson:

What does the future in RWE look like?

Nurse Practitioner Trudy Campbell:

Nursing strategies to improve MS patients´ adherence and persistence.

Professor Ralf Gold:

Key Learnings from up to 13 years of follow-up with TECFIDERA® (dimethyl fumarate) treatment experience.

Professor Ralf Gold:

Safety data from up to 13 years of long-term follow-up with TECFIDERA® (dimethyl fumarate) treatment.

Biogen-127959.
Date of preparation: January 2022.