Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy

  • Is There a Cure for Migraines?

Is There a Cure for Migraines?

Aug 07 2018 Read 1097 Times

Surpassed only by dental caries and tension headaches, migraines are the third most common disease in the world. Experts estimate that around 14.7% of the population, or around one in seven people, suffer from the incapacitating neurological disease. Furthermore, an estimated 2% of the global population fall into the chronic category, a condition that sees patients suffer from more than 15 migraines days per month. Now, Swiss-based healthcare company Novartis Pharmaceuticals has developed a new drug claiming to prevent chronic migraines.

Targeting the CGRPR trigger

Erenumab, a breakthrough medication which targets the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRPR), has already been approved by EU health officials and claims to actively thwart the neurological disease. The medication is the first in a group of CGRPR antagonists to be approved by the EU and also steps up as the world's first drug designed specifically to prevent migraines.

English and Scottish health officials have confirmed that talks are underway to assess Erenumab for NHS use. Meanwhile, Novartis is offering patients who suffer from at least four migraines a month the option of privately purchasing the drug following approval by the European Medicines Agency.

A DIY drug

Simple and non-invasive, Erenumab can be self-administered at home once a month with an auto-injector pen. The drug actively blocks the calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor, which is thought to be a key migraine trigger. Trials offered positive results, with Novartis claiming that Erenumab jabs halve the number of migraine days in chronic patients.  

“Erenumab is the first and only licensed treatment specifically designed to prevent migraine, demonstrating our commitment to developing innovative therapies for people living with some of the most debilitating conditions,” explains Haseeb Ahmad, managing director for UK and Ireland of Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Erenumab wins support from Migraine Trust

The medication has already won attention from groups like the Migraine Trust, with Chief Executive Wendy Thomas asserting, “We think this decision is wonderful as this new treatment has the potential to help many people with chronic and episodic migraines. Migraine is incredibly painful, and has symptoms that include vomiting and visual disturbance, so getting it frequently can literally ruin lives. That is why it is important that it becomes available to patients as soon as possible.”

For more insight into the latest industry breakthroughs don't miss 'Choosing the Optimum Plasma Spectrochemistry Technique for Measuring Elemental Impurities in Pharmaceuticals', which spotlights the recent regulations on heavy metal testing.

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