AAN: Erenumab Shows Promise for Hard-to-Treat Migraine

Jeannie Matthews
April 20, 2018

A self-injected smart drug may be the key to easing and preventing pain for migraine sufferers. According to experts, blocking CGRP can prevent the onset of a migraine attack before it even starts.

For the study, 246 participants who unresponsive to migraine treatments were given an injection of erenumab or a placebo once a month for three months.

Migraine affects over thirty-seven million Americans according to the American Headache Society.

The Swiss pharma company has already produced data that it hopes will support a licence in patients with episodic and chronic disease, for patients experiencing four or more days of migraine per month. Mild migraine suffers usually pop ibuprofin, while those with stronger migraines often resort to prescription drugs such as ergotamine and sumatripin. Migraine is essentially caused by dilatation of the blood vessels around the brain that leads to intense headache, nausea and dizziness. These drugs however may not be effective in all people with migraine.

"The people we included in our study were considered more hard to treat, meaning that up to four other preventative treatments hadn't worked for them", said study author Uwe Reuter, a researcher at The Charité - University Medicine Berlin in Germany.

The people included in the study were considered more hard to treat, meaning that up to four other preventative treatments hadn't worked for them.

The study involved adults with chronic migraine who had four to fourteen attacks of migraine per month. "What we're going to do is give migraine patients a migraine drug".

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Amgen R&D chief Sean Harper said: "We are encouraged by these new findings, which add to the growing body of clinical evidence supporting potential use of Aimovig across a broad spectrum of patients with migraine".

Of the participants, 39% had been treated unsuccessfully with two other medications, 38% with three medications and 23% with four medications.

They also had a greater average reduction in the number of days with headaches and the number of days they needed to take drugs to stop the migraines.

A targeted new migraine drug has reduced the average occurrence of migraines by 50% for almost a third of sufferers, in a new trial.

Monthly doses as small as 70 mg or 140 mg were enough to significantly reduce migraines in some of the worst cases - and with no side effects to boot. Number of days with headaches also reduced substantially.

"Our results show that people who thought their migraines were hard to prevent may actually have hope of finding pain relief", Reuter said, suggesting studies longer than three months will need to be conducted to understand the patients most likely to benefit from the drug.

The Food and Drug Administration is due to make an announcement on the drug in May. The cost of the drug is estimated to be around $10,000 annually at present.

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