Conference Coverage

Experts discuss what’s new in migraine treatment


 

EXPERT ANALYSIS FROM AAN 2019

– At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Alan M. Rapoport, MD, clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles, sat down with Stewart J. Tepper, MD, professor of neurology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, N.H., to discuss in a video some of the new data presented at the meeting regarding the CGRP monoclonal antibodies, the small molecule receptor antagonists (gepants), and what Dr. Tepper described as “a real shift in paradigm and a watershed moment in migraine.”

Vidyard Video

The three gepants that are farthest along in clinical trials are ubrogepant, rimegepant, and atogepant. “Reassuring data” was presented, Dr. Tepper said, regarding liver toxicity, which has been a concern with earlier generations of the gepants. The Food and Drug Administration had mandated a close look at liver function with the use of these drugs, which are metabolized in the liver, and, to date, no safety signals have emerged.

The three CGRP monoclonal antibodies that are currently on the market are erenumab (Aimovig), fremanezumab (Ajovy), and galcanezumab (Emgality). Data from numerous open-label extension studies were presented. In general, it seems that “the monoclonal antibodies accumulate greater efficacy over time,” Dr. Tepper said. No safety concerns have emerged from 5 years of clinical trial data. With 250,000 patients on these drugs worldwide, that is “very reassuring,” Dr. Tepper said.

New data also show that the majority of patients with chronic migraine who are taking monoclonal antibodies convert from chronic migraine to episodic migraine. Additionally, new data show that use of monoclonal antibodies “dramatically reduce all migraine medication use,” Dr. Tepper said.

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