A promising new class of drugs could be good news for people who suffer from high-frequency episodic migraine and chronic migraines.
The new drugs, called Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies, are believed to be the next major breakthrough in the treatment of debilitating migraines, the American Headache Society reported.
"This development is a transformative moment in migraine treatment," said Peter J. Goadsby, chair of the scientific program of the American Headache Society's annual Scientific Meeting. "There's no question that we need something better," he said. "In fact, for prevention we really need something designed specifically for migraine."
There has not been a new class of anti-migraine drugs developed since triptans hit the market in 1991, and these cannot prevent migraine attacks, but can only treat existing headaches.
"Up till now, migraine patients have had limited choices for preventive treatment. Now four pharmaceutical companies are showing positive results in human trials targeting CGRP mechanisms," Goadsby said.
This new class of drugs appears to reduce elevated levels of the peptide known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which is a major driver of migraine pain. In Phase IIb trials the new therapy showed a significant reduction in number of headache hours after one week, and a 50 percent reduction in headache frequency in more than half the trial participants.
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