Health and Science

Migraine prevention drug could be worth $1 billion to $2 billion over next five years: Wall Street analyst

Key Points
  • The FDA approves migraine preventative treatment Aimovig.
  • One Wall Street analyst predicts the anti-migraine category could be a $1 billion to $2 billion business over the next five years.
  • Michael Yee, managing director at Jefferies, expects others companies to get into the migraine treatment sector.
Amgen's migraine treatment focuses on huge un-met need, says analyst

The anti-migraine drug Aimovig from Amgen and Novartis could become a $1 billion to $2 billion business over the next five years, said a Wall Street analyst.

"That's a 10 percent move to Amgen's revenue," Michael Yee, managing director at Jefferies, an investment banking firm, told CNBC.

"The key is that, I think this is a huge unmet need," Yee said Friday on "Power Lunch."

Aimovig is a monthly preventative migraine treatment administered through a pen, similar to an insulin pen. The treatment, the first of its kind, is expected to have a potential user base of 10 million people in the U.S. alone.

On Thursday, the FDA approved the drug.

"This is the start of an important product cycle for Amgen," Yee said.

The treatment, priced at $575 a month or $6,900 a year, is still out of reach for many. But Yee said the price was better than expected. Some analysts had anticipated the drug would be priced as high as $10,000 a year.

"There's been this investor fear and Wall Street fear that these [drug companies] want these high prices and access is a problem and then nobody wins," the analyst said.

"Because Amgen priced low, opening up access, I think that's going to be a big key test for how big these drugs could be," Yee said.

His firm has a buy rating on the stock and a price target of $200. Amgen shares closed Friday up nearly 1 percent to $176.30.

For now, Amgen, in partnership with Novartis, has cornered the market on migraine treatments. But Yee said other companies, such as Eli Lilly, Teva and Alder BioPharmaceuticals, have medicines in the same class currently in development. And with more competition, the price will likely go down, he said.

"Multiple players in this market could make the market quite big," Yee said.