Globally, three times more women than men suffer from migraine. Approximately 50 million of those also suffer from menstrual migraine, a more severe form highly resistant to standard treatments, including recently developed CGRP antibodies. Sepranolone is the first compound to target this highly frequent form of female migraine. If successful it will be the first treatment to prevent attacks from occurring.
Märta Segerdahl, CMO, Asarina Pharma: “Until now all migraine treatments have been developed to treat men as well as women. They have not prioritized treating migraine as a condition that can be strongly related to fluctuations in hormones. Sepranolone is different. It targets the hormone-related mechanism that we believe triggers menstrual migraine. Currently, whilst some medications like triptans do treat symptoms, for menstrual migraine sufferers once the effect wears off, the pain returns, often more intensely than before. A preventative treatment would meet a huge unmet need”.
The first dose of Sepranolone in the study was administered on December 3 in Uppsala, Sweden. The study is taking place in Finland and Sweden with 80-90 patients aged 18-45 years and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
About menstrual migraine
Menstrual migraine (MM) is a highly specific and disabling form of migraine. According to the American Migraine Foundation MM can be the most challenging kind to treat and frequently does not respond to the same medicines that work the rest of the month. MM attacks are often more severe and prolonged, but they are predictably recurrent, unlike regular episodic migraine. That means they more often go un-reported and undiagnosed. Menstrual migraine is triggered by the naturally produced neurosteroid allopregnanolone. Sepranolone inhibits allopregnanolone and might thus prevent the development of menstrual migraine.
Asarina Pharma’s lead compound Sepranolone is identical to the body’s natural, endogenous substance that inhibits allopregnanolone, the neurosteroid that triggers both menstrual migraine and PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, Asarina Pharma’s lead indication. Sepranolone is the first compound to specifically target menstrual migraine – as the naturally-produced inhibitor of the triggering mechanism it has a very good safety profile.