CGRP Drug Approval

The FDA has approved the first drug developed specifically to prevent chronic migraine in adults.  Aimovig, developed by Amgen and Novartis, is the first of the new CGRP medications that targets the calcitonin gene-related peptide and works by blocking this neurotransmitter’s communication with the brain. Researchers believe that CGRP is involved in triggering and prolonging migraine attacks.

Aimovig is a monthly shot that can be administered by the patient with a device like the Imitrex injection. It will reportedly be available by prescription soon at a price of $6900 per year.

There are about 4 million American chronic migraine sufferers who until now, have had to make do with medications developed for other diseases. None of the new CGRP drugs prevent all migraine attacks, and not everyone responds to these drugs. But those responding to the medication have reported their attacks are less severe and significantly less frequent. They also report minimal side effects.

Three other pharmaceutical companies (Lilly, Teva and Alder) have similar drugs in development or awaiting FDA approval.