US approves new drug for prevention of migraines

By AFP

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(AFP) – Migraine sufferers on Thursday got some relief from US regulators who approved the first of a new class of drugs for migraine prevention.

The United States Food and Drug Administration said it endorsed Aimovig for prevention of migraine in adults, through monthly self-injections.

Aimovig is the first in a new class of drugs that work by blocking the activity of calcitonin gene-related peptide, a molecule involved in migraine attacks, the FDA said in a statement.

“Aimovig provides patients with a novel option for reducing the number of days with migraine,” said Eric Bastings, a deputy director in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“We need new treatments for this painful and often debilitating condition.”

Migraine is three times more common in women than in men and affects more than 10 per cent of people worldwide.

The FDA issued its approval to California-based Amgen Inc, which has been collaborating with Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis to develop and commercialise treatments for migraine and Alzheimer’s.

Aimovig is expected to be available to patients within one week and is listed at a price of US$6,900 annually, Amgen said in a statement.

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