Two new studies, released yesterday will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26 to May 3.

Both studies contain drugs that are aimed at preventing migraine attacks, rather than stopping migraines once they have started.

These studies are the first to test monoclonal antibodies for migraine prevention, and both are aimed against a fairly new target in migraine prevention, the calcitonin gene-related peptide, or CGRP.

Both are phase II studies, which means larger studies are needed to confirm results.

One study looked at 163 people who had migraine from 5 to 14 days per month. They either received a placebo, or a single IV dose of a drug called ALD403, and then were followed for 24 weeks. Those who received the drug had an average of 5.6 fewer migraine days per month, or a 52% decrease. Sixteen percent of those who received the drug had no migraine days at 12 weeks, while none of those who received the placebo were free from migraine at that point.

There were no differences in side effects between those who received the drug, and those who received the placebo.

Peter Goadsby, MD, PhD, of the UC San Francisco and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, who is an author on both studies said, “These results may potentially represent a new era in preventive therapy for migraine.”

Another author on both studies, David Dodick, MD, of Mayo Clinic Arizona in Phoenix and a member of the American Academy of Neurology said, “Migraine remains poorly treated, and there are few effective and well tolerated treatments approved that prevent migraine attacks from occurring. There is a huge treatment need for migraine – the third most common and seventh most disabling medical disorder in the world.”

In the second study, 217 people who had migraine from 4 to 14 days per month received biweekly subcutaneous injections of either a placebo or a drug called LY2951742 for 12 weeks. Those who received the drug had an average of 4.2 fewer migraine days per month at 12 weeks or a 63% decrease, while those who received placebo had 3 fewer migraine days per month, or a 42% decrease. Those who received the drug were more likely to have side effects including pain at the injection site, upper respiratory tract infections and abdominal pain.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that a new era of mechanism-based migraine prevention is beginning,” said Dodick.       sciencedaily.com     4/22/14

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