Published: Fri, December 01, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

New Migraine Therapy Reduces Attacks

New Migraine Therapy Reduces Attacks

The World Health Organization estimates that between 127 and 300 million people around the world experience chronic migraine, defined as 15 or more headaches per month for at least three months.

There have been clinical trials published on two of these antibodies in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It works by blocking the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor, which plays a critical role in migraine activation.

There is fresh hope for millions of people who suffer with migraines on a regular basis as a top research team in the United Kingdom believe they may have developed a drug that can relieve pain and cut the duration of an attack.

Among all patients who had more than a 50 percent reduction in the number of days they experienced either a severe or moderate headache per month, 37.6 percent on the monthly treatment regimen and 40.8 percent on the quarterly treatment regimen had at least a 50 percent reduction in the number of moderate headaches they experienced per month.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, the company developing the drug, hopes for US FDA approval in 2018. This results in increasing sensitivity of the brain to pain.

A BREAKTHROUGH STUDY on the effects a drug has on reducing migraines has been labelled as "a huge deal" and "the start of real change" by scientists and health experts. For the Phase III trial, 1,130 individuals with chronic migraine were randomly assigned to receive to fremanezumab quarterly, fremanezumab monthly, or placebo.

The endpoints of the trial were evaluated from baseline to the average of the last three months.

Hailed as an "incredibly important" step forward, trial data on almost 1,000 patients showed the therapy typically cut between three and four "migraine days" per month, while the duration of attacks was reduced at least by half in 50% of the patients.

Increased levels of CGRP have been reported in migraine and temporomandibular joint disorder patients as well as a variety of other diseases such as cardiac failure, hypertension, and sepsis.

The researchers also looked at how well the therapy worked relative to each patient's headache burden. Only 18.1 percent of the placebo group, by comparison, had 50 percent reduction in moderate headaches per month.

"If approved, this treatment would provide physicians with an important new tool to help prevent migraine, reduce a patient's migraine load, and potentially help patients return to normal" says Dr. Silberstein.

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