Stopping Migraine in its Tracks


LOS ANGELES. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — If you or someone you know has ever suffered from a migraine, you know how debilitating they can be. Now, clinical trials on a drug that prevents migraines are showing promising results. Researchers are testing an antibody that basically attacks the molecule that causes migraines.

Bianca Harris’ migraines started two years ago. She gets them five days a week.

Harris told Ivanhoe, “I’m lucky sometimes it doesn’t come on for like an hour and kind of fools me for a little bit. But yeah, they’re always there.”

She’s a patient of David Kudrow, M.D., director of the Neurological Research Institute of Southern California in Los Angeles. She hopes to get into his study of ALD 403, an antibody targeting a peptide that triggers migraine pain.  It’s in an IV given every three months.

“The studies that have been reported so far show that it is effective in reduction of frequency, intensity, duration of migraines, and it reduces the amount of medication that patients will need acutely to treat their migraines,” explained Dr. Kudrow. (Read Full Interview)

The most recent results show that 33 percent of patients taking the higher dose of the drug report a 75 percent reduction in their number of migraine days.

“It would be wonderful if I could just go back to having a normal life and be productive and not have to worry about if I’m out doing something if I am going to have a terrible headache,” said Harris.

She has high hopes for this drug because nothing else has worked for her.

Alder Biopharmaceuticals just wrapped up its Phase 2B trial and is about to enter the final phase of testing before going to the FDA for approval. It is one of four pharmaceutical companies developing a drug to prevent migraines.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Rusty Reed, Videographer.





TOPIC:       Stopping Migraine in its Tracks

REPORT:   MB #4187

BACKGROUND: Nearly one in four U.S. households includes someone with migraine. Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from migraines. A migraine causes severe throbbing or a pulsing sensation usually on just one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days and can be so severe that the pain is disabling. Auras are visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision. Migraines are most common between the ages of 25 and 55.


MIGRAINE TRIGGERS: A number of factors may trigger migraines. One is those factors can be hormonal changes in women. Women with a history of migraines often report headaches immediately before or during their periods, and hormonal medications, such as oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, may worsen migraines. Foods such as aged cheeses, salty foods, processed foods and food additives may trigger migraines. Skipping meals can trigger attacks. Alcohol, especially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines. Missing sleep, getting too much sleep or jet lag may trigger migraines in some people. Also a change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: Clinical trials are currently being conducted for a new drug that may prevent migraines. ALD403 is an antibody targeting a peptide that can trigger migraine pain. The study calls for an IV of it given every three months. In the study randomized groups of approximately 120 patients each received ALD403 in either 10 mg, 30 mg, 100 mg, or 300 mg doses intravenously. A final group of approximately 120 patients received a placebo intravenously. At the 12-week mark, 33% and 31% of patients who received a single intravenous dose of 300 mg and 100 mg ALD403, respectively, had a 75% reduction in migraine days and a significant reduction in migraine days.



If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at

Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for David Kudrow, M.D, Director of the Neurological Research

Read the entire Q&A