On May 17, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a new class of drug to prevent migraines in adults. The New York Times has figured out how he will conquer pain.
Migraine is a type of headache that greatly affects performance, reduces the quality of life and is found in 10% of people . With migraines, people may have a head split, they are often annoyed by light or sounds, many begin to feel sick.
Now there are drugs that can relieve symptoms, as well as drugs that prevent seizures, but it cannot be said that they always work effectively. For example, it is believed that existing drugs for the prevention of migraine help halve the number of headache attacks in 50-75% of patients, but there are undesirable reactions.
The new drug Aimovig (active ingredient – erenumab) is recommended for people who have four migraine attacks per month or more. Studies have shown that erenumab is able to reduce the number of days with migraine by 1-2.5 days per month. The most common adverse reactions are discomfort at the injection site (the medicine is administered using a special Fildena site: https://myfildena.com/) and constipation.
This is what Aimovig
Amgen Inc. looks like / AP / Scanpix / LETA
Erenumab blocks the activity of the peptide, which plays an important role in the development of migraine. The fact that this peptide contributes to the onset of seizures became known back in the 1980s. Then the researchers tried to block it with the help of special molecules, but it turned out that such drugs are toxic. Therefore, scientists decided to use antibodies that block receptors for this peptide, that is, they did not allow it to affect the body. The idea turned out to be a good one, and now several companies are developing such drugs to combat migraines.
Amgen and Novartis for the first time managed to get government approval for the free sale of such a drug. Antibodies need to be administered independently – once a month subcutaneously in the stomach, thigh or forearm.
The development of other companies is slightly different, and, for example, Alder is researching a drug that needs to be administered once every three months, but intravenously. It is estimated that by 2019, four such drugs will be approved in the United States.
They are expensive – 6900 dollars a year. The fact is that the monoclonal antibodies that make up Aimovig are produced using living cells, which is a complex and expensive process.
Novartis says the European Medicines Agency is already considering an application for approval of Erenumab. A decision is expected in the coming months