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Needle-Free Sumatriptan Injection for Migraines and Cluster Headaches

by Teri Robert, Lead Expert

In 1992, Migraine treatment changed when the first triptan was introduced to the marked. It was the Imitrex StatDose for subcutaneous injection.

This year, Migraine treatment changed again when patents expired, and the first generic triptan became available — sumatriptan, which is the triptan in the brand name Imitrex.

Now, to make aborting a Migraine fast and pain-free, the FDA has just approved the first needle-free sumatriptan injection. Made by Zogenix, it's named Sumavel, and will hopefully be available soon.

DosePro is a first-of-its-kind needle-free delivery system for subcutaneous sumatriptan, a treatment that provides migraine relief within 10 minutes for some patients. News of the FDA approval came on July 16.

Dr. Roger Cady, Migraine and headache specialist and director of he Headache Care Center in Springfield, Missouri, commented:

“In my 28 years treating migraine patients, a consistent challenge has been delivering fast relief in a patient acceptable form... Sumavel DosePro will be a welcome treatment option because it combines key benefits – the rapid efficacy of subcutaneous sumatriptan and a simple to use needle-free delivery system.”

Roger Hawley, chief executive officer and director of Zogenix said:

“During market research sessions with health care providers and migraine patients,‛cool’ was one of the most common responses to Sumavel DosePro – that’s a very unusual description in this industry. We believe our novel DosePro delivery system could transform the future of subcutaneous drug delivery of pharmaceuticals. This first approval was made possible by years of dedication and shared entrepreneurial spirit of our Zogenix team, our business partners and our investors.”

The kind staff at Zogenix shared some photos with me so I could give you an advance peek at how Sumavel DosePro is administered:

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Zogenix plans to launch Sumavel DosePro with its own sales force and a co-promotion partner, and will make the product commercially available as soon as possible.

It should be noted that this technology does not come without cost. We cannot expect Sumavel injections to be as inexpensive as we often find generic options to be. The injector itself is not inexpensive. Still, it will hopefully be less expensive than the Imitrex StatDose, and it's hard to beat the combination of the speed with which injectables act with the advantage of a pain-free, needle-free injection.

 

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© Teri Robert, 2009. Last updated July 27, 2009.

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