JERUSALEM, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical, the world's largest generic drugmaker, announced on Saturday that it would begin marketing "Ajovy," a preventive drug against migraine, after it received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Migraine is a common form of headache, usually very intensive and restricts the activity. It is a phenomenon of the nervous system that cannot be predicted in advance.
Ajovy is the first drug for migraine that allows one injection for three months, compared with the U.S. company Amgen's "Aimovig" drug, which should be injected once a month.
These are the only two drugs that treat migraine through an antibody blocking the protein CGRP (calcitonin gene-related peptide), which participates in the pain mechanism.
Ajovy can be injected every three months at a dose of 675 milligrams, or once a month at a dose of 225 mg. The injection is given in the patient's home independently or at the clinic.
Teva announced that the price of the drug will be 575 U.S. dollars per month (the same price as Amgen set for its drug) and noted that it will be available at the pharmacies in early October.
The approval will help Teva reduce the impact on its revenues and profits caused by the intensification of competition for its first original drug Copaxone for multiple sclerosis, which is still its main profit source.
The FDA approval was given three months later than expected due to quality control problems at the plant of the South Korean company Celltrion, which produces the drug for Teva.
About 15 percent of the world's population is diagnosed with migraine. 90 percent of the sufferers have headaches less than 15 days a month, and the rest have a chronic migraine for more than half of the month.