[New Arrival of Disease Modifying Drugs Initiates New Era in Multiple Sclerosis Treatment in Japan].Brain Nerve. 2020 May; 72(5):517-523.BN
Multiple sclerosis disease modifying drugs (MS-DMD) currently used in Japan are interferon β-1a, interferon β-1b and gratiramer acetate, fingolimod, dimethyl furmarate, and natalizumab. Ofatumumab and siponimod will be approved probably in 2021. Ofatumumab is an ant-CD20 human monoclonal antibody. A clinical trial revealed that the efficacy of ofatumumab is clearly superior to teriflunomide that has comparable efficacy to dimethyl fumarate. Siponimod, a selective sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator, exhibited mild, but significant efficacy for secondary progressive form of MS. OCH, a synthetic glycolipid agent, is being tested in phase II clinical trials in Japan. What DMD is to select is challenging since MS prognosis varies and is unexpected. Only very few have truly benign course without treatment. Silent progression should be considered especially in cases with those with interferon β-1a, interferon β-1b and gratiramer acetate. Escalation therapy is more widely accepted than initiation of high efficacy therapy in Japan because emphasizing safety. In such strategy three injectables and dimethyl fumarate are regarded as first line therapies. On the other hand, initiation of high efficacy drugs may be reasonable to prevent from disease progression. Even if either is acceptable, early induction of DMD with sufficient efficacy is mandatory for MS treatment.