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Teva rolls out first migraine patch in US

Delivers alternative treatment option for migraine sufferers
TEVA logo

Teva's pain franchise has been boosted by the launch of a patch treatment for migraine that is the first product of its type in the US.

The new Zecuity product is a disposable patch system worn for four-hours - on the upper arm or thigh - that delivers the widely-used migraine drug sumatriptan through the skin. Sumatriptan is a serotonin 5-HT1 agonist that has been used for years in oral and injectable migraine formulations.

Teva says that its patch system overcomes a key problem with oral sumatriptan - namely that the nausea associated with migraine can make it hard for patients to swallow tablets - and is a more patient-friendly than injections.

An estimated 36 million people in the US suffer from migraine, and there is still no reliable cure for the condition as its underlying pathological mechanism remains poorly understood.

Sales of migraine treatments are set to grow at an annual rate of 5.8% from around $3bn in 2013 to over $5bn in 2023 across six major markets, according to Decision Resources. 

The market research firm suggests that new formulations of triptans, including Zecuity as well as new quick-dissolve oral and intranasal formulations, will collectively account for $800m of that total in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Japan.

In clinical trials, Zecuity was able to double the proportion of patients who were headache-free after two hours compared to a placebo patch (to 18% from 9%), whilst also reducing the incidence of nausea, sensitivity to sound and light and the requirement for additional pain relief.

The patch was originally developed by NuPathe, which was granted FDA approval for Zecuity in 2013 but delayed a launch until it secured a commercial partner for the product, which some analysts have predicted could be a blockbuster. Teva acquired rights to it when it bought NuPathe last year, riding out a rival bid from Endo.

Last year, Teva also added to its migraine pipeline by buying Labrys Biologics and its anti-CGRP monoclonal antibody TEV-48125 (LBR-101) for up to $825m.

The company has predicted this drug too could eventually become a blockbuster with peak sales potential of $2bn-$3bn, and help it on its mission to become a global leader in pain by 2020.

Article by
Phil Taylor

3rd September 2015

From: Sales

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