The medicinal benefit of salts of fumaric acid and its esters (FAE), known as fumarates (mono and dimethyl fumarate), was realized many years ago. Early on, FAE were derived from plants and mushrooms (e.g., Fumaria officinalis, Boletus fomentarius var. pseudo-igniarius). The FAE containing formulation Fumaderm® was licensed in Germany for the treatment of psoriasis in 1994. Recently, a clinical formulation of dimethyl fumarate known as BG12 (Tecfidera) was approved for use in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, European Union, Switzerland, and Canada for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Others and we have assessed the potential benefit of FAE in a number of disease conditions that are diverse with respect to etiology but unified with regard to the involvement of inflammation and oxidative stress. Hence, a FAE-based drug with robust anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects that is already US-FDA approved is a perfect contender for repurposing and rapid clinical implementation for their management. There is a burgeoning literature on the use of FAE in the prevention and treatment of diseases, other than psoriasis and MS, in which oxidative stress and/or inflammation are prominent. This chapter highlights critical information gleaned from these studies, exposes lacunae of potential importance, and provides related perspectives.
Part of the book: Drug Repurposing