New migraine treatment erenumab found to work in treating migraine, where others have failed

Full Results from the Phase IIIb Liberty Trial Released by Novartis


The results presented at this year’s US Medical Conference showed erenumab as an effective preventative treatment option for patients who have tried all currently available migraine treatments without gaining any relief.

Erenumab is the only fully human monoclonal antibody under regulatory review that was designed to selectively block the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor, which plays a critical role in migraine activation.

As part of the study, 246 patients who had already tried two to four preventive treatment that had failed, received monthly subcutaneous injections of either erenumab 140mg or placebo for 12 weeks.

The results showed that more than twice as many patients taking erenumab achieved at least a 50% reduction in monthly migraine days compared to placebo (weeks 9-12: 30.3% with erenumab, 13.7% with placebo).

Migraine is the third most common disease globally, affecting an estimated 1 in 7 people which equates to almost 200,000 attacks each day in the UK alone. The preventative treatments currently available for migraine are limited not very effective and poorly tolerated due to the side effects experienced by many.

Dr Mark Toms, Chief Scientific Officer at Novartis UK comments: "There has been no real advancement in migraine treatment for the past twenty years and we’re proud to be breaking new ground in neurology for the millions of people in the UK living with the painful and disruptive symptoms of migraine.

Whilst these data further reinforce erenumab’s efficacy and safety profile it also highlights the clear unmet need that exists for targeted migraine prophylactic treatment and we are committed to working closely with the relevant regulatory bodies to make erenumab available to those that need it as soon as possible." 


The study results of erenumab compared to placebo showed:

  • Reduction in monthly migraine days

  • Decrease in acute migraine-specific drug use

  • 75% or greater reduction in monthly migraine days

  • 100% reduction in monthly migraine days

  • Improved physical functioning and ability to complete everyday activities as measured by the Migraine Physical Function Impact Diary (MPFID) scales

    "An option that can prevent migraine and that's well tolerated is sorely needed. Migraine is too often trivialised as just a headache when, in reality, it can be a debilitating, chronic condition that can destroy lives." Simon Evans, Migraine Action.

Erenumab and another monoclonal antibody migraine treatment called fremanezumab have been submitted for approval by US and European drug regulators. A decision is expected soon. We will keep you updated on the progress of the drug.

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