Aimovig is a novel therapeutic approach as the first and only FDA-approved treatment specifically developed to prevent migraine by blocking the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP-R) - which is believed to play a critical role in migraine.
Tareck Kadrie, a neurologist in a private practice in Chattanooga, Tennessee, told The Wall Street Journal: "We think it's going to revolutionize treatment in migraines".
"The drugs will have a huge impact", said Dr. Amaal Starling, a neurologist and migraine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. It is the first to reach the market and gives migraine sufferers hope that science has finally found a way to treat what has always been a frustratingly untreatable condition.
The drug offers new hope for the around 39 million adults and children in the US who deal with migraines, which are characterized by an intense, pulsing or throbbing pain in one side of the head.
Migraines can cause disabling symptoms: throbbing headaches, nausea and 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 transient sensory or visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines or a temporary loss of vision. Migraines affect 10% of the worldwide population, and are three times more common in women than men.
The drug, Aimovig, which is given monthly by self-injection, will have a list price of $6,900 a year, or $575 a month, the company said. These episodes can be triggered by stress, lack of food or sleep, diet or changes in hormones.
The first study involved nearly 1,000 participants.
Erenumab consistently demonstrated an ability to reduce monthly migraine days in patients with episodic and chronic migraine in 3 major clinical trials, ARISE, STRIVE, and LIBERTY. "Importantly, in clinical trials, Aimovig patients were able to start and stay on therapy - with a discontinuation rate of 2% percent due to adverse events - and experienced sustained migraine prevention". The company said it will pay most out-of-pocket costs for eligible patients with commercial insurance. Side effects included constipation and injection site reactions.
According to Beatings, a large number of people requires new methods to treat migraine headaches, which is a debilitating condition in which significantly reduced human activity.