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Allergan oral migraine drug succeeds in study

  • The migraine treatment belongs to a class of migraine drugs that target a protein associated with pain signaling.
  • Allergan is aiming to be the first oral drug available that targets those proteins to reduce migraines.
  • Express Scripts is pressing Amgen and other makers of migraine-preventing drugs to reconsider the usual strategy of high list prices and hefty migraines.
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Allergan said on Monday its oral migraine drug met the main goal across all doses in a study, with a statistically significant reduction in monthly headache days in patients with episode migraines.

The treatment, atogepant, belongs to a class of migraine drugs also being developed by Eli Lilly and Alder Biopharmaceuticals that target a protein associated with pain signaling called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP).

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Amgen's CGRP treatment Aimovig, which is self injected monthly and will have a list price of $6,900 a year, or $575 a month.

Questions have been raised about Amgen's strategy for Aimovig after the nation's largest manager of prescription benefits, Express Scripts, told Reuters it is pressing Amgen and rival makers of new migraine-preventing drugs to reconsider the usual strategy of high list prices and hefty rebates.

Allergan, which aims to bring the first oral CGRP to the market, has two such drugs in its pipeline.

Last month, the company reported positive results form a second late-stage trial for the 50 milligram dose of its other migraine drug ubrogepant.