Friday, May 25, 2018

Aimovig® - The First In A New Class of Drugs to Prevent Migraines

Novartis and Amgen announce FDA approval for Aimovig (erenumab-aooe), the first approved medication of its kind to be prescribed “prophylactially to “prevent” migraine headaches. The cost will be approximately $6,000 -$14,000 annually.

There are potentially more than 1M candidates, as there are many migraine sufferers who do not get relief from conventional medications, such as Imitrex or Zomig (known as “triptans”). It is also estimated that less than half of all migraine sufferers get relief from prophylactic medications that are currently available.

The Pharmacy Times states that “Migraine headache is a painful condition that has a negative impact on a patient’s well-being and can reduce their ability to do their job or participate in other activities."

Aimovig is in a new class of drugs called CGRPs (Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide Receptor) Antagonist. This drug class works by blocking calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which is released during a migraine and is administered by subcutaneous injection, 1-2 times/month by the patient. Amgen provides the SureClick AutoInjector for the Aimovig. The two dosage forms available are 70 mg and 140mg.

In a 6-month study with 955 patients, Aimovig showed a statistically significant decrease in the number of migraines. Novartis states that Aimovig was reduced monthly migraine days, including in more difficult to treat populations, with many patients achieving at least a 50% reduction.

Two other CGRP drugs in the pipeline for launch respectively for midyear and October 2018 are Fremanezumab (Teva) and Galcanezumab (Eli Lilly). You can expect that Novartis is going to aggressively market Aimovig with physicians, pharmacies, wholesalers, PBMs and hospitals to grab as much market share as possible before there is competition. Expect to see Aimovig ads on TV, magazines, give aways to doctors, and coupons for patients.

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