PHILADELPHIA – according to phase 3 trial results presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. The treatment’s efficacy is sustained for 2-48 hours, researchers reported.
Rimegepant is a small molecule calcitonin gene–related peptide receptor antagonist. A 75-mg oral tablet formulation was effective in phase 3 trials. The present study evaluated a novel, orally dissolving tablet formulation that is intended to speed the drug’s onset. The tablet’s time to peak concentration is 1.50 hours, compared with 1.99 hours for the oral tablet.
“People with migraine prefer orally dissolving tablets to oral tablets, mainly for their convenience, onset of action, and ability to be taken without drinking liquids,” said first author, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, and colleagues.
To assess the formulation’s efficacy and safety, the investigators conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Participants were aged at least 18 years and had migraine for at least 1 year. They had 2-8 moderate or severe migraine attacks and fewer than 15 headache days per month during the 3 months before the trial. Their preventive migraine medication doses, if any, had been stable for at least 3 months.
Coprimary efficacy endpoints were pain freedom 2 hours post dose and freedom from the most bothersome symptom at 2 hours post dose. The efficacy analyses included randomized subjects who had a qualifying migraine attack, took the study medication, and provided at least one postbaseline efficacy data point.
The investigators included 1,351 patients in their efficacy analysis – 669 who received rimegepant and 682 who received placebo. About 85% were female, and patients’ mean age was 40.2 years. They averaged 4.6 migraine attacks per month, and their most bothersome symptoms included photophobia (57%), nausea (23.5%), and phonophobia (19.3%). About 14% used preventive treatment.
Within 45 days of randomization, patients treated a migraine attack of moderate to severe intensity and completed an electronic diary predose to 48 hours post dose.
Less use of rescue medication
At 2 hours post dose, patients who received 75 mg rimegepant were more likely than patients who received placebo to achieve pain freedom (21.2% vs. 10.9%) and freedom from the most bothersome symptom (35.1% vs. 26.8%).
Numerical differences in the likelihood of pain relief between group began 15 minutes post dose, and the difference was statistically significant at 60 minutes (36.8% vs. 31.2%).
Various secondary endpoints, including ability to function normally at 2 hours post dose (38.1% vs. 25.8%), sustained pain relief from 2-48 hours (42.2% vs. 25.2%), and use of rescue medications within 24 hours (14.2% vs. 29.2%), also were statistically significant.
In the safety analysis, the most common adverse events were nausea (1.6% in the rimegepant group and 0.4% in the placebo group) and urinary tract infection (1.5% in the rimegepant group and 0.6% in the placebo group). There were no serious adverse events. “Safety and tolerability were similar to placebo,” Dr. Lipton and colleagues said.
Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, the developer of the drug, sponsored the study. Dr. Lipton has received honoraria and research support from Biohaven and holds stock in the company. Coauthors are employees of Biohaven.