Lilly Migraine Drug One Step Closer To Market

Dec 11, 2017

A new pain medication, part of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly’s non-opioid pain management platform, took another step forward.

The drug is called galcanezumab. It’s one of three being crafted by Eli Lilly to treat chronic and serious pain. The medicine has shown promising results in a series of trials says Dr. Robert Conley, Lilly global development leader for migraine.

“Around 60 percent of our patients lost more than half of their headache days and some patients even got to 100 percent loss of headache,” says Conley

That’s significant says Wei-Li Shao, U.S. Lilly Neurosciences vice president.

“When you translate the numbers into what that means for a patient,” he says. “In some cases it’s almost like a patient getting four months of their life back.”

The treatment, a once monthly injection, is now under review for approval by the FDA. Eli Lilly made a commitment 25 years ago to advance treatment for migraines. Conley says there’s an unmet need.

“When we’ve been recruiting for migraine trials it’s been interesting to see how much interest there is in the clinic,” says Conley.

An estimated 13 percent of the U.S. population suffers from migraines.

Dr. Eric Pearlman, a medical fellow, says the new series of pain medication works preventatively.

“By blocking that molecule or peptide it interrupts the pathway of turning on migraine that happens in the brain,” says Pearlman.

Final FDA approval could come in a year.