New therapies preventing migraine episodes to be launched

US-based drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. on Friday announced that EMA has recommended the marketing approval in Europe for its monoclonal antibody Emgality (galcanezumab). Emgality has already been granted conditional approval in the US by FDA. It is part of a new class of products aimed at inhibiting migraine episodes. It is the second monoclonal antibody recommended by EMA, shortly after Novartis and Amgen’s Aimovig, already approved in the US. The race to the migraine treatments market also involves Israel-based Teva, which some days ago obtained the FDA approval for Ajovy (fremanezumab), an injection drug that will be sold in the US at $575 per monthly treatment and $1,725 per quarterly dose. It has potential to generate up to $1bn pa before 2022, according to consultancy EvaluatePharma.

Ajovy, Emgality and Aimovig are three identical therapies, different only in administration mode, experts say. Together, they are likely to deliver up to $5bn in the US and $2bn in Europe. However, Aimovig seems to have a slight advantage over its competitors, thanks to the earlier approval: it is likely to generate revenues between $123m and $204m as early as this year.