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Novartis Reports Positive Phase II Data on Migraine Drug


Novartis AG NVS announced results from a phase II study on migraine candidate AMG334.

Data from the study were presented at the fifth European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress (EHMTIC) in Glasgow, Scotland.

The study enrolled 667 patients who had a mean baseline of approximately 18 migraine days per month. The study showed that AMG334 led to a statistically significant reduction in monthly migraine days compared with placebo in patients with chronic migraine.

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Moreover, a significantly higher number of patients receiving monthly subcutaneous administration of AMG334 70mg or 140mg, experienced a reduction of 50% or more in the number of monthly migraine days, compared with placebo.

We note that Novartis is developing AMG334 in collaboration with Amgen, Inc. AMGN. Under the collaboration agreement dated 2015, the companies agreed to jointly develop and commercialize treatments in the field of Alzheimer's disease and migraine. Amgen retained commercialization rights for AMG334 in the U.S., Canada and Japan, while Novartis owns the rights to Europe and the rest of world.

Meanwhile, Novartis expects results from phase III studies on AMG 334 in episodic migraine later this year.

Another migraine candidate being developed under this collaboration is AMG301 (currently in a phase I study).

We expect investors to keep an eye on the approval of new drugs and label expansion of existing ones at Novartis, given that the company has been facing stiff generic competition for some of its key drugs like Diovan and Gleevec.

Novartis currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the healthcare sector include Ligand Pharmaceuticals LGND and Pacira Pharmaceuticals PCRX. Both these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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