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New Migraine Drugs that Target CGRP Show Promise in Recent Studies

New Migraine Drugs that Target CGRP Show Promise in Recent Studies

Written by Kerrie Smyres on 23rd Jun 2016

Numerous medications that target CGRP are in simultaneous development for both acute and prophylactic migraine treatment.

Acute Migraine Treatment


Ubrogepant was tested for efficacy as an acute treatment for a single migraine attack. Patients received either the study medication or a placebo. Those who received ubrogepant reported their migraine severity reduced from severe or moderate to mild or nonexistent within two hours. The drug has no known cardiovascular risk—which makes it a possible treatment option for patients who cannot take current medications due to cardiovascular disease. This study supports the idea that CGRP receptor antagonists are potential options for acute migraine treatment.

Preventive Migraine Treatment

Galcanezumab/LY2951742 (Eli Lilly and Company)

The most recent study of this anti-CGRP antibody tested for the efficacy of different doses of the drug. Patients received one injection each month for three months. Researchers compared patient’s reported migraine days before the study to their number of migraine days after three months of treatment. At the two highest doses of the drug (120 mg and 300 mg), patients had a reduction in migraine days compared to their levels before the study.

ALD403(Alder BioPharmaceuticals)

A single dose of this anti-CGRP monoclonal antibody acted quickly to prevent migraine attacks for up to three months in trial participants with chronic migraine. After a single dose, ALD403 reduced migraine frequency by 75% in up to 33% of the patients for the entire 12-week study. This was a reduction of 12 or more migraine days each month for those patients. “This equates to giving patients roughly two weeks of their lives back every month after a single administration of ALD403,” according to one Alder executive.

TEV-48125 (Teva Pharmaceuticals)

Even on headache-free days, people with migraine may experience a wide range of symptoms that contribute to the overall disability burden of migraine. Researchers tested to see if TEV-48125 could treat non-headache symptoms of migraine. Patients with both chronic and episodic migraine reported an improvement in:

  • Being able to work or study normally
  • Not working at a reduced speed and not taking longer to complete tasks
  • No difficulty concentrating
  • Not feeling very tired, drained, or sleepy
  • Performing household activities normally
  • Being very engaged with partner’s or children’s activities
  • Being very interested in daily activities


American Headache Society. (2016). Clinical Data Presented at American Headache Society Meeting Shows Promise of New Treatments for Migraine Prevention [Press release]. Retrieved June 17, 2016 from

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