FDA okays new oral CGRP antagonist for migraine prevention


The Food and Drug Administration has approved atogepant (Qulipta), a novel calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist, for the prevention of episodic migraine, the manufacturer announced in a release.

The once-daily medication will be available in doses of 10 mg, 30 mg, and 60 mg.

“Qulipta provides a simple oral treatment option specifically developed to prevent migraine attacks and target CGRP, which is believed to be crucially involved in migraine in many patients,” coinvestigator Peter J. Goadsby, MD, PhD, DSc, neurologist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and King’s College London, said in the release.

Approval was based partly on the findings from the phase 3 ADVANCE trial, in which patients with episodic migraine were randomly assigned to receive placebo or a 10-mg, 30-mg, or 60-mg daily dose of atogepant for 12 weeks.

As reported by this news organization, all three doses of atogepant reduced the number of mean monthly migraine days.

With this approval, neurologists will be able to choose from four monoclonal antibodies and two gepants for the preventive treatment of migraine.

“Having another gepant that can also be given preventively is a good idea, because one may be better than the other for a patient,” Alan M. Rapoport, MD, past president of the International Headache Society and founder and director emeritus of the New England Center for Headache, Stamford, Conn., told this news organization.

“Once we have a year or so of experience with atogepant, we’ll have a pretty good idea of which one works better preventively,” said Dr. Rapoport, who was not involved with the research.

Practice changing?

In the ADVANCE trial, there was a reduction of 3.69 migraine days with the 10-mg dose, 3.86 days with the 30-mg dose, and 4.2 days with the 60-mg dose. Placebo was associated with a reduction of 2.48 migraine days.

In addition, more than half of patients in each atogepant arm achieved a reduction in mean monthly migraine days of 50% or greater. This outcome occurred in 55.6% of the 10-mg atogepant group, 58.7% of the 30-mg group, and 60.8% of the 60-mg group. Approximately 29% patients who received placebo achieved this outcome.

The data indicated that atogepant has a favorable safety profile. The most common adverse events associated with treatment were constipation, nausea, and upper respiratory tract infection.

Dr. Rapoport, who is also a clinical professor of neurology at UCLA, noted that he was impressed with the efficacy.

“I’m not as impressed with the adverse events, but they’re not serious, and they don’t necessarily last,” he said.

Although being able to prescribe a single drug for acute and preventive treatment may be an advantage, it remains to be seen whether the tolerability and price of atogepant will be barriers for patients, Dr. Rapoport added.

How the approval will affect clinical practice is also unclear, he noted.

“If you’re going to start someone on a preventive, especially if it’s a woman of childbearing potential, you might just consider one of the two gepants. Doctors will decide once they see how they work,” said Dr. Rapoport.


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