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Novartis receives European licence for Aimovig® (erenumab), the first treatment designed specifically for the prevention of migraine

Human pain nerves grown in the lab that can release CGRP and be used to identify new migraine treatments

Novartis today announced that the European Medicines Agency has granted a licence for the use of Aimovig® (erenumab) for the prevention of migraine in adults who experience at least four migraine days per month. 

Erenumab is the first and only licensed preventative treatment designed specifically for migraine that blocks the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor, thought to be involved in the transmission of the pain signals associated with migraine. Zam Cader, who leads the Translational Molecular Neuroscience Group in our Department, is undertaking underpinning research on how CGRP may be important in migraine. He has also been involved in running clinical trials on CGRP antibody therapies at the Oxford Headache Centre.

Erenumab has been shown to reduce the average number of monthly migraine days in both episodic and chronic migraine patients, including those who have tried existing treatment options. Today’s news represents a new approach for the clinical community in our ability to treat those that suffer most with migraine.
- Zameel Cader, NDCN

Migraine is a complex and debilitating neurological condition that affects each individual differently. Latest information shows that over 610,000 people in the UK are estimated to experience chronic migraine (15 or more headache days per month of which eight involve migraine symptoms). Research shows that around £9.7 billion a year is lost in the UK alone due to migraine through direct (treating patients) and indirect (lost productivity) costs, yet migraine remains the least publicly funded of all neurological illnesses relative to its economic impact.

Novartis is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure eligible patients can start benefitting from this treatment as quickly as possible. A bespoke patient support programme and range of resources are also being developed in order to provide as much support as possible to patients and healthcare professionals.

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