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New approach to treating migraine

Results from a study published today in an online version of The Lancet provide further insights into the potential benefit of a new class of migraine treatments known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonists.

Telcagepant, an investigational oral CGRP receptor antagonist, at a dose of 300 mg, significantly improved relief of migraine pain and migraine-associated symptoms two hours after dosing compared to placebo in a large clinical study. In addition, telcagepant 300 mg provided similar efficacy to high-dose zolmitriptan (5 mg), with a lower incidence of adverse events.

"These findings suggest that telcagepant 300 mg is as effective as a high dose of a standard triptan treatment, but with an improved tolerability profile for treatment of migraine," said Tony W Ho, Senior Director, Clinical Research, Merck Research Laboratories, USA.  "Additional clinical studies are ongoing, and we look forward to those results when they are available."

Telcagepant is a novel, oral CGRP receptor antagonist in development for treatment of acute migraine. It does not appear to be associated with direct vasoconstriction. It is an antagonist of the receptor for CGRP, a potent neuropeptide thought to play a central role in the underlying pathophysiology of migraine.

Overall treatment effect was assessed by analysing five primary endpoints at two hours post-dose: pain relief (reduction to mild or none); pain freedom (reduction to no pain); absence of sensitivity to sound (phonophobia); absence of sensitivity to light (photophobia); and absence of nausea.

The Lancet