Half of the episodic migraine patients given a new drug, Erenumab, experienced essentially fewer days with migraine symptoms, as indicated by a new study. The worldwide Phase III STRIVE study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), found that half of the patients given a 140 mg dose of erenumab for a half year, rather than placebo, saw the number of migraines they encountered over a month reduced by at least half.
Erenumab is the primary completely human monoclonal antibody particularly intended to block the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor, which plays a critical part in migraine activation.
Researchers randomly recommended 955 patients with either once-month to month subcutaneous placebo, or erenumab, 70mg or 140mg, in a 1:1:1 proportion. They concluded that erenumab can significantly reduce the number of monthly migraine days experienced by patients, from a normal of more than eight days to fewer than four. Patients treated with erenumab likewise reported improved physical health and ability to participate in daily activities over the half-year time for testing.
Peter Goadsby, the professor of neurology and director of the NIHR-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at King’s College Hospital, London, welcomed the results. He said: STRIVE is the primary completely reported Phase III study of the CGRP pathway monoclonal antibodies, and it clearly demonstrates that blocking this pathway can reduce the effect of migraine.
‘The outcomes represent a real transition for migraine patients from ineffectively understood, repurposed treatments, to a particular migraine-designed therapy. STRIVE, as with the monoclonal antibody an improvement generally, represents an incredibly important step forward for migraine understanding and migraine treatment.’ Simon Evans, chief executive of Migraine Action, said: Migraine is too often trivialized as only a headache when, in reality, it can be a debilitating, chronic condition that can destroy lives. We hope that this marks the start real change in how this condition is perceived and treated.
‘But Dr. Andrew Green, the BMA GP Committee’s prescribing lead, struck a note of alert. He stated: ‘It is dreadfully right on time to state if this will prove to be a useful addition to our alternatives in treating migraine patients, especially in the light of the high cost of these new agents. Regardless of whether it has a place, it will be a hospital and not a primary care treatment.
‘The issue for us is that drug companies extol the products in advance of the time of them getting available in order to make a demand, patients at that point attend their GPs and are disappointed when it turns out that they have read about in the newspapers.’