Good news for those who frequently suffer from migraines. Researchers at various pharmaceutical companies have worked together and discovered a new class of drugs that has the potential to prevent migraines from ever occurring in the first place.
The drug is part of a new class known as Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies, and it’s the first of its kind as preventive medicine for migraines has never been tackled before. CGRP is a chemical that works by sending signals within the brain and all throughout the human body.
Dr. Richard Lipton, director of the Montefiore Headache Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, gave a statement saying that “We’ve known for a long time that CGRP was involved in the mechanism of migraines, so during migraine attacks you can measure elevation of CGRP in the blood of the person having the migraine. If you treat it, CGRP blood levels fall”.
So far the drug has shown promising results in managing both chronic migraines (meaning a patients experiences migraines at least 15 days per months), and intermittent migraines that reoccur frequently.
The discovery marks great progress in the medical field as many pharmaceutical companies have been analyzing substances that attack the CGRP. Some of the most notable ones are Teva Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly and Company, Amgen and Alder Pharmaceuticals.
Teva Pharmaceuticals was very active, conducting various studies and submitting their findings to the American Headache Society meeting. Patients who were battling migraines were tested in the phase IIb trials. Just one week after the trials started, participants reported experiencing significantly fewer hours of headaches.
Most remarkable of all was the half of the participants reported they experienced at least 50 percent (50%) less headaches, some of them reported back even better percentages.
The phase IIb trials conducted by Amgen support the same findings as Teva’s. Half of participating subjects reported that in 12 weeks times, the number of days they used to suffering from headaches was reduced by 50 percent (50%).
Eli Lilly and Company also stress the importance and efficiency of the product. They went a step even further than Teva and Amgen by also incorporating a placebo in their phase IIb trials. Both the placebo and the real drug were administered monthly to participants.
Peter J. Goadsby, MD, PhD, Chief of the UCSF Headache Center and chair of the American Headache Society’s annual Scientific Meeting, gave a statement informing that the potential of these compounds is enormous. He hopes that scientists will soon be able to develop much more effective treatments for migraines.
Currently, 36 million Americans suffer from migraines. The number is higher than that of patients with conditions such as diabetes or asthma.
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