As Migrainuers, we're always looking for better abortive medications to stop Migraines and their associated symptoms in their tracks. The advent of triptans in the early 1990s was a milestone for us, offering us more and better options for treating those "Migraine headaches" than ever before. Still, these treatments aren't perfect. Current Migraine abortives don't work for every Migraineur.
A new medication in Phase III clinical trials is showing great promise. MAP Pharmaceutical's MAP0004 may not, at first glance, look like anything new, but research to this point indicates that it may very well be a "new and improved" version of an old friend, DHE (dihydroergotamine). Current forms of DHE are DHE-45 subcutaneous injections, Migranal Nasal Spray, and DHE IV infusions used in clinics and hospitals.
So, what's so new and different about MAP0004?
MAP0004 delivers DHE in a method different than any other Migraine medication, via a hand-held, unique oral inhaler called Tempo. Temp looks somewhat like an asthma inhaler, but works differently. Rather than the patient having to time pumping the inhaler at the right time with their breathing, Tempo is breath synchronized. It is inserted in the mouth, then automatically synchronizes itself with the patient's breathing and dispenses the medication at the right moment.
In a study of which receptors are affected, MAP0004 stimulated receptors that relieve Migraine at levels comparable to IV DHE, but did not activate receptors associated with side effects frequently seen with IV DHE. In addition, MAP0004 did not affect receptors that have a role in regulating pulmonary function.
"The selective binding of MAP0004 at receptors associated with Migraine rather than those associated with side effects offers a mechanistic hypothesis for the favorable safety and efficacy profile of MAP0004 compared to IV DHE that we have observed in our initial clinical studies... The absence of negative effects of MAP0004 on pulmonary function in asthmatic subjects observed in a Phase 2 study is also important because Migraine and asthma are frequently co-morbid conditions."1
Thomas A. Armer, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer of MAP Pharmaceuticals