New Migraine Drug Telcagepant on Hold, Perhaps Permanently

telcagepant on holdTelcagepant, a migraine abortive with much success in clinical trials, is now on hold. It will not be submitted to the FDA for approval this year, as Merck previously announced. Originally studied for intermittent use, patients in an early trial to see if the drug could be used as a daily preventive developed high levels of liver enzymes.

The article doesn’t explain why, but here’s my take: People with frequent migraine episodes often take abortives more frequently than recommended. Even using telcagepant as an abortive, these patients could also develop high levels of liver enzymes.

The bad news for migraineurs is the findings could be significant enough to shelve the drug permanently. Merck, which was banking on the drug, can’t be too happy either.

What are your thoughts on why the drug is on hold?