Since the development of triptans in 1991, there has not been a new class of medications for migraine, and even these are targeted to migraine treatment not prevention. But this may be about to change, as promising results are to be reported at the American Headache Society’s (AHS) annual meeting on a new class of drugs called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies. Characterizing the discovery as “…a transformative moment in migraine treatment,” Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, chair of the scientific program of the AHS annual Scientific Meeting noted that 4 pharmaceutical companies have demonstrated positive results in human trials targeting CGRP mechanisms. Versions of anti-CGRP therapies are being tested by Alder Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Eli Lilly and Company, and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
The new class of therapeutic agents appears to reduce elevated levels of CGRP, a key driver of migraine pain. They are among the first to show effectiveness at migraine prevention vs treatment of migraine attacks. Dr. Goadsby additionally remarked, “The development of CGRP antibodies offers the simple, yet elegant and long awaited option for migraine patients to finally be treated with migraine preventives; it’s a truly landmark development.”
For links to further information in painweek.org about migraines, click here.
Read a news story about the findings here.