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Eli Lilly Korea launches migraine prevention drug
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.12.12 15:28
  • Updated 2019.12.12 15:28
  • comments 0

Eli Lilly said that it has officially launched Emgality, a migraine prevention treatment, in Korea.

Professor Joo Min-kyung at Severance Hospital explains the migration prevention benefits of Emgality, during a news conference at Lotte Hotel Seoul, on Thursday.

Emgality is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-targeted antibody drug. CGRP is a small protein released by the trigeminal nerve that causes migraine headaches. The drug has a mechanism that prevents migraines by targeting CGRP.

In the past, doctors used antidepressants, beta-blockers, and epilepsy treatments to treat migraines. However, these drugs had side effects, including weight loss, lethargy, and handshaking. CGRP-targeted therapies are attracting attention because they have fewer side effects than conventional medications.

In three clinical trials – EVOLVE-1, EVOLVE-2 and REGAIN -- in patients with paroxysmal hemicrania for more than six months, Emgality reduced the number of monthly average migraine by 4.2-4.8 days. It was a significant difference from the placebo’s 2.3-2.8 days decrease a month. In the EVOLVE-2 clinical study involving Koreans, the mean number of migraine headaches was reduced by two days in the Emgality group compared to the placebo group, for six months. (Emgality’s 4.3 days vs. placebo’s 2.3 days).

In detail, 59 percent of patients treated with Emgality had a 50 percent reduction in the number of days of migraine headaches (36 percent for placebo) while 34 percent had their migraine reduced 75 percent or more (18 percent for placebo) and 12 percent of patients saw their headaches completely disappear (6 percent for placebo).

“Migraine headaches are not just headaches, and half of the patients who visit hospitals with migraines say that it is more painful than childbirth,” Professor Joo Min-kyung at Severance Hospital said. “It is important to treat the disease as migraine affects not only the patient but also family relationships.”

A survey showed that more than half of the migraine patients responded that their spouses do household chores to the severity of their migraine, while 44.3 percent of the patients responded that the pain makes it hard for them to play with their children, Joo added.

Joo stressed that until now, preventive drugs have been effective in blocking the intermediate route of migraine, but the side effects were high.

“Patient satisfaction and compliance were not high, and so there was a need for improvement of treatment environment for patients and medical workers,” Joo said. “Now that we have launched Emgality that has fewer side effects, I expect the drug will make a big difference for patients who have been struggling to maintain their daily and social life due to migraines.”


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