Monoclonal antibodies for migraine: preventing calcitonin gene-related peptide activity.CNS Drugs. 2014 May; 28(5):389-99.CD
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a well-studied neuropeptide of relevance for migraine pathophysiology. Jugular levels of CGRP are increased during migraine attacks, and intravenous CGRP administration induces migraine-like headache in most individuals with migraine. Several CGRP receptor antagonists (CGRP-RAs) were shown to be effective for the acute treatment of migraine, validating the target for the treatment of migraine. However, for a number of reasons, including issues of liver toxicity with chronic use, the development of CGRP-RAs has yet to produce a viable clinical therapeutic. Development of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting the CGRP pathway is an alternative approach that should avoid many of the issues seen with CGRP-RAs. The exquisite target specificity, prolonged half-lives, and reduced potential for hepatotoxicity and drug-drug interactions make mAbs suitable for the preventive treatment of migraine headaches. This manuscript provides an overview of the role of CGRP in the pathophysiology of migraine, followed by a review of the clinical development of CGRP-RAs. Some basic concepts on antibodies are then discussed along with the publicly disclosed information on the development of mAbs targeting the CGRP pathway.