Migraine Medication Telcagepant Dropped by Merck

Nancy Harris Bonk Community Member August 01, 2011
  • Merck recently announced they are withdrawing their efforts to win FDA approval for their novel Migraine medication Telcagepant. This is disappointing news for the Migraine community as we haven't had a novel drug approved for Migraine in 49 years.

     

    Telcagepant is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist that works without the vasoconstriction of triptans. This medication might  have given Migraineurs another option if triptans (Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, etc.) and ergotamines (DHE 45, Migranal Nasal Spray, etc.) are contraindicated  to use due to cardiovascular disease or other conditions. Currently Migraineurs are limited with their abortive medication choices, especially since Midrin and its equivalents have been taken off the market.

     

    Merck dropped Telcagepant after the completion and evaluation of a failed six-month Phase III clinical trial. Merck has stated only,

    "Merck is discontinuing the clinical development program for telcagepant, the company's investigational calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist for the treatment of acute migraine. The decision is based on an assessment of data across the clinical program, including findings from a recently completed six-month Phase III study."1

    It's suspected that they may have withdrawn its FDA application for the second time due to issues with participants liver enzymes being higher than normal. They had a similar issue with another CPRG drug, MK-3207 a few years ago. Another issue may be that the patent for Maxalt is expiring this year and a competitor has a generic ready to go. 

     

    Any way you look at it, this news still leaves a gaping hole in some Migraineurs' toolboxes. Triptans don't work for everyone. Other options to abort a Migraine attack include Migranal Nasal Spray or DHE injections that you can give yourself at home. There are a few other ergotamine medications, but Migranal and DHE are the most frequently prescribed ergotamine medications.

     

    ____________

    Resources:

    1 Press Release. "Merck Announces Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results." Whitehouse Station, N.J. July 29, 2011.

     

    2 McBride, Ryan. "Merck kills PhIII migraine drug program". FierceBiotech. July 29, 2011. 

     

    Thanks for reading and feel well,

    NancySig

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    visit my blog, Migraine and Other Headache Disorders

     

     

    © HealthCentral Network, 2011.
    Last updated August 1, 2011.

3 Comments
  • Anonymous
    Bummer
    Dec. 24, 2011

    So very upsetting to read that Merck dropped this. I did the 6 month Phase III clinical trial and this was the first medicine in years that actually helped me. To not have pain, especially for those 7 days, was amazing! 

    • Teri Robert
      Health Guide
      Dec. 26, 2011

      Unfortunately, there wasn't really any choice here. Some safety issues surfaced in the trials. Given the need for the drug and the huge investment in it, if there had been any choice, it wouldn't have been dropped.

       

      Teri

    • Nancy Harris Bonk
      Dec. 28, 2011

      Hey, thanks for reading Bummer. It is alwasy disappointing when a medication seems helpful but is not available to us.

       

      Please don't give up, did you know there are over 100 medications that are used for Migraine treatment? When you get a moment, take a look at this article: Migraine and Headache Preventive Medications - Too Many Options to Give Up.

       ...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hey, thanks for reading Bummer. It is alwasy disappointing when a medication seems helpful but is not available to us.

       

      Please don't give up, did you know there are over 100 medications that are used for Migraine treatment? When you get a moment, take a look at this article: Migraine and Headache Preventive Medications - Too Many Options to Give Up.

       

      Good luck

      Nancy 

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