Regulators in the US have approved a new drug designed to prevent chronic migraines.
The drug, called Aimovig, is jointly developed by the pharmaceutical companies Amgen and Novartis.
The FDA granted the approval of Aimovig to Amgen Inc.
People who experience migraine headache pain describe it as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head. In some cases people also experience nausea and/or vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
In Phase I and II studies the drug was found to successfully reduce monthly migraine days as well as the use of acute migraine medications compared to placebo.
“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.”
Amaal Starling, a migraine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, told The New York Times:
“The drugs will have a huge impact.
“This is really an amazing time for my patient population and for general neurologists treating patients with migraine.”
“The FDA approval of Aimovig demonstrates Novartis commitment to bringing meaningful new medicines to patients with complex neurologic diseases, like migraine,” said Paul Hudson, CEO Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
“Aimovig is the first therapy of its kind targeting the CGRP receptor, and has demonstrated robust efficacy across the spectrum of migraine. We look forward to working closely with Amgen in the U.S. to bring this treatment to physicians and their patients, who could now gain days of their lives back each month.”