Recently developed calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonistic molecules have shown promising results in clinical trials for acute treatment of migraine attacks. Drugs from the gepant class of CGRP receptor antagonists are effective and do not cause vasoconstriction, one of the major limitations in the use of triptans. However their use had to be discontinued because of risk of liver toxicity after continuous exposure. As an alternative approach to block CGRP transmission, fully humanized monoclonal antibodies towards CGRP and the CGRP receptor have been developed for treatment of chronic migraine (attacks >15 days/month). Initial results from phase I and II clinical trials have revealed promising results with minimal side effects and significant relief from chronic migraine as compared with placebo.
Migraine is a complex disorder of the brain that is common and highly disabling. As understanding of the neural pathways has advanced, and it has become clear that the vascular hypothesis does not explain the disorder, new therapeutic avenues have arisen. One such target is calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-based mechanisms. CGRP is found within the trigeminovascular nociceptive system widely from the trigeminal ganglion to second-order and third-order neurons and in regulatory areas in the brainstem.