Many people in the world suffer from migraines. In Mexico, approximately 20 million people suffer from migraine. Migraines are characterized by being moderate to severe headaches. They can be pulsing pains in an area of the head. Some people report feeling other symptoms, along with the headaches, such as seeing light bursts, having nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sounds, and fatigue. A lot of factors can trigger migraines, for example, anxiety, stress, lack of food, lack of sleep, being exposed to light, and hormonal changes. The pain and the symptoms accompanied by migraines reduce the quality of life in people and also, have economic consequences because of reduced work-days and productivity. There is a need to attend this issue adequately, since the only treatments available are the ones that control the pain, but there is no cure. Scientists and doctors nowadays think that the cause of migraines is related to the genes that control several brain cells’ activities. Research for new treatments has been being oriented in that direction in the lasts years.
Recently, in May 2018, the FDA approved Novartis’s Erenumab (Aimovig®) as a treatment for preventing migraines. It has been shown in studies that levels of CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide) increase during migraine attacks. Erenumab, which is a human monoclonal antibody, blocks the CGRP-R (calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor), and this causes to disrupt a component of the migraine pathophysiology. Data from clinical studies with this molecule showed that the drug reduced the number of migraine days per month up to 6.6 days in patients who received it.
There are other molecules that are also under research and in review or to be reviewed by the FDA, such as Eli Lilly’s Galcanezumab, Teva’s Fremanezumab, and Alder Biopharmaceuticals’s Eptinezumab. All of the research being conducted in migraines and the growing interest to address this need is very exciting. At Althian, we are about to being a trial with Erenumab. We are very happy to collaborate in migraine research, so people can have more options for treating and preventing migraines, and thus, having a better quality of life.