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New Class of Migraine Meds Shows Promise for Prevention

Injectable medications appear promising in early trials, but more research needed

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Results from phase II clinical trials indicate that a new class of drugs, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) monoclonal antibodies, can effectively prevent migraine in a substantial portion of patients. Findings from these studies were to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Headache Society, held from June 18 to 21 in Washington, D.C.

This latest class of drugs reduces levels of CGRP, a key driver of migraine. Four drug manufacturers -- Alder Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, Eli Lilly and Company, and Teva Pharmaceuticals -- currently are testing their own versions of CGRP monoclonal antibodies.

In results presented at the American Headache Society meeting: Teva reported that its drug achieved a significant reduction in the number of headache hours after one week, with more than half of patients in each arm experiencing a 50 percent or greater reduction in headache frequency. Amgen reported that its drug reduced the number of migraine days by 50 percent in about half the treated patients after 12 weeks. Lilly showed that its drug could help prevent migraine headaches, compared to placebo.

Alder Pharmaceuticals didn't present any new findings at the meeting, but has previously published promising phase II study results, according to an American Headache Society news release.

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