I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 28 Sep 2019 - 4 Oct 2019

Pharmacology/Drug Development


2019 Feb 08

ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci



CGRP-based Migraine Therapeutics: How Might They Work, Why So Safe, and What Next?


Russo AF
ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci. 2019 Feb 08; 2(1):2-8.
PMID: 31559394.


Migraine is a debilitating neurological condition that involves the neuropeptide calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). An exciting development is the recent FDA approval of the first in an emerging class of CGRP-targeted drugs designed to prevent migraine. Yet despite this efficacy, there are some fundamental unanswered questions, such as and CGRP works in migraine. Preclinical data suggest that CGRP acts via both peripheral and central mechanisms. The relevance of peripheral sites is highlighted by the clinical efficacy of CGRP-blocking antibodies, even though they do not appreciably cross the blood-brain barrier. The most likely sites of action are within the dura and trigeminal ganglia. Furthermore, it would be foolish to ignore perivascular actions in the dura since CGRP is the most potent vasodilatory peptide. Ultimately, the consequence of blocking CGRP or its receptor is reduced peripheral neural sensitization. Underlying their efficacy is the question of the antibodies have such an excellent safety profile so far. This may be due to the presence of a second CGRP receptor and vesicular release of a large bolus of peptides. Finally, despite the promise of these drugs, there are unmet gaps because they do not work for all patients; so ? We can expect advances on several fronts, including CGRP receptor structures that may help development of centrally-acting antagonists, combinatorial treatments that integrate other therapies, and development of drugs that target other neuropeptides. This is truly an exciting time for CGRP and the migraine field with many more discoveries on the horizon.