Erenumab: Monthly Injection To Prevent Migraines 'Could Be Available Next Year'

A woman in pain from a migraine holding her head

According to The Times, the injections could be available to migraine sufferers in the United Kingdom as early as next year.

Aimovig is a fully human monoclonal antibody specifically created to target and block the Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) receptor, which is thought to play a critical role in mediating the incapacitating pain of migraine.

A self-injected smart drug holds out new hope for migraine sufferers who until now have had to grit their teeth and bear the pain of thunderclap headaches.

The new data comes just a month before the FDA is due to deliver its verdict on Novartis and Amgen's marketing application for Aimovig, which is a little ahead of other CGRP drugs in development, a group which includes Eli Lilly's galcanezumab, Teva's fremanezumab and Alder's eptinezumab.

Migraine affects over thirty-seven million Americans according to the American Headache Society. Attacks can last anything from four hours to three days. Migraine is essentially caused by dilatation of the blood vessels around the brain that leads to intense headache, nausea and dizziness.

Dr Toms added: 'There has been no real advancement in migraine treatment for the past 20 years and we're proud to be breaking new ground in neurology for the millions of people in the United Kingdom living with the painful and disruptive symptoms of migraine'.

Lead author of the study Dr. Peter Goadsby, professor of neurology at Kings College London, UK and University of California, San Francisco said that this is the first time a drug can effectively prevent the attacks of migraine. However, more research is now needed to understand who is most likely to benefit from this new treatment, Reuter said. The new drug was used among the participants.

There were 246 patients in total - some of them were given erenumab, while others were given placebo treatments. Of these 39 percent had earlier been treated unsuccessfully with two other anti-migraine medications, 38 percent were earlier treated with three other medications and 23 percent were unsuccessful with even four medications.

For those on erenumab, there was an average 1.6 times greater reduction in migraine days and a 1.7 times greater reduction in acute medication days compared to those on placebo.

'Our study found that erenumab reduced the average number of monthly migraine headaches by more than 50 per cent for almost a third of study participants. Those treated with the drug also had a greater average reduction in the number of days they had headaches and the number of days they needed to take drugs to stop the migraines. Number of days with headaches also reduced substantially. The study was supported by Novartis Pharma AG.

Erenumab was the first drug in its category when Novartis filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a year ago.

The study findings haven't been published yet, but are expected to be presented next Tuesday at the AAN's annual meeting in Los Angeles.

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