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Is the injection against migraines finally coming?
Migraine is a very strong one-sided headache. This neurological disorder affects about 10 percent of the population. Researchers have now submitted a drug for approval, which could protect people from migraines with a monthly injection.
A drug called Aimovig is said to protect those affected from migraines in the future. The EU Commission has already given the manufacturer Novartis approval for the antibody erenumab. So the migraine injection could be on the market at a time. In the UK, the manufacturer has just submitted the drug for approval.
Drug on the market in September?
If approval is successful, the drug could be offered by the NHS as early as next year. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has already granted a license for use to patients with at least four migraine attacks per month. The manufacturer Novartis announced that patients can already get the drug privately in September.
Symptoms of migraines
The experts believe that this new treatment has the potential to help many people with chronic and episodic migraines. Migraines are incredibly painful and have symptoms that include vomiting and vision problems. When people suffer from migraines, they are unable to participate in life normally. Usually only rest and staying in a darkened room helps. Sometimes a so-called migraine aura occurs before a migraine attack. During this time, particularly optical or sensitive perception disorders can be experienced by the patient. It is also possible that those affected may suffer from motor disorders. Because of all these negative effects, the drug must be available to patients as quickly as possible, the researchers say.
What is the cause of migraines?
So far, the researchers know very little about exactly what causes migraines. There is currently no cure for migraines, just a handful of treatments that can help relieve symptoms. Chronic migraines affect more than 600,000 people in the UK alone and can have a devastating impact on people's quality of life, doctors say.
Advanced clinical trials are already underway
Erenumab was originally developed to block the activity of a molecule called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Erenumab, also known as Aimovig, could be the first in a new class of drugs that many scientists believe can root migraines. Four different pharmaceutical companies are already conducting advanced clinical trials with antibodies against CGRP. The substance triggers sensitive reactions in the nerves, face, head, jaw and red blood cells that surround the brain. Researchers have studied drugs to stop CGRP by binding or blocking its receptors.
Drug can be administered by itself
Novartis Pharmaceuticals has submitted an application to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the drug, which can be administered at home using a so-called injection pen. Erenumab is the first and only approved treatment specifically designed to prevent migraines. The development of the drug shows its commitment to developing innovative therapies for people suffering from the neurological disorder, explains the British managing director of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Haseeb Ahmad, according to the English-language magazine "Mirror online". (as)