In a news story published last week, Sid Kapoor, MD, Fellow of the American Headache Society and Director of the Headache Program at the University of Kentucky's Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) commented on the status of initial research into a new class of migraine medications called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CRGP) monoclonal antibodies. These were also the topic of a recent PAINWeek Daily Dose (click here to read). In human clinical trials these agents appear to substantially reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Dr. Kapoor remarked "If these CGRP drugs can deliver as promised, they will represent the first new class of anti-migraine drugs in more than 20 years—and those only treated migraines after they occurred, and rarely prevented them." But he also raised cautions that could impact the time to market for these new discoveries.
Dr. Kapoor notes that it is currently not known how the reducing of CRGP levels may affect the long term functioning of other organs. Previous attempts at modifying this pathway were too dangerous for patients and studies had to be discontinued. Kapoor added that, while the results of the completed Phase II studies were promising, CGRP monoclonal antibody drugs are at least 5 years away from public distribution. The next step is Phase III trials, which aim to establish efficacy and long-term safety compared to a placebo.
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Read a news story with link to more commentary from Dr. Kapoor, here.