FDA approves Aimovig, a preventive treatment for migraine

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News Highlights

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Aimovig for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults.
  • The treatment is given by once-monthly self-injections using a device similar to an insulin pen.
  • It will be available to patients within a week, with the list price being $6,900 yearly, i.e. $575 per month.
  • The effectiveness of Aimovig for the preventive treatment of migraine was evaluated in three clinical trials.
  • It is not yet known if the drug is safe for pregnant women or for breastfeeding women, according to this patient information sheet.

Aimovig, made by Amgen and Novartis is the first FDA-approved preventive migraine treatment in a new class of drugs that work by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a molecule that is involved in migraine attacks.

“Aimovig provides patients with a novel option for reducing the number of days with migraine,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We need new treatments for this painful and often debilitating condition.”

Migraines

Patients often describe migraine headache pain as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head. Additional symptoms include nausea and/or vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Approximately one-third of affected individuals can predict the onset of a migraine because it is preceded by an aura – transient sensory or visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines or a temporary loss of vision.

People with migraine tend to have recurring attacks triggered by a number of different factors, including stress, hormonal changes, bright or flashing lights, lack of food or sleep and diet.

Migraine is three times more common in women than in men and affects more than 10 percent of people worldwide.

Clinical trial results:

  1. The first study included 955 participants with a history of episodic migraine and compared Aimovig to placebo. Over the course of six months, Aimovig-treated patients experienced, on average, one to two fewer monthly migraine days than those on placebo.
  2. The second study included 577 patients with a history of episodic migraine and compared Aimovig to placebo. Over the course of three months, Aimovig-treated patients experienced, on average, one fewer migraine day per month than those on placebo.
  3. The third study evaluated 667 patients with a history of chronic migraine and compared Aimovig to placebo. In that study, over the course of three months, patients treated with Aimovig experienced, on average, 2 ½ fewer monthly migraine days than those receiving placebo.

Furthermore, FDA has requested that the company study whether people who take the drug are more at risk for liver toxicity, heart attacks, and stroke.

Source: FDA