Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

FDA Approves Biohaven's Migraine Treatment Nurtec ODT

By Brian Orelli, PhD - Feb 27, 2020 at 8:26PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The drug enters a crowded market -- but it has a convenient format.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Biohaven Pharmaceutical's (BHVN -0.28%) Nurtec ODT as an acute migraine treatment. Shares of the company were up 7.8% at 7:08 p.m. EST in after-hours trading after falling 8.5% during the regular session.

The drug melts in your mouth, literally -- the ODT stands for orally disintegrating tablet. Biohaven plans to have the drug in pharmacies in early March.

Nurtec ODT is a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist in the same class as Allergan's (AGN) Ubrelvy, which was approved in December. Ubrelvy is in typical tablet form, which most patients would take with water, making it slightly less convenient than an ODT.

In the clinical trial used to support the approval, Nurtec ODT helped patients return to normal function within one hour. The effect of the drug can last up to 48 hours for many patients, and 86% of patients didn't need any other acute migraine treatments within 24 hours.

Nurtec OTC packaging

Image source: Biohaven.

Biohaven is also testing the medication as a treatment to prevent migraines. Results from that clinical trial are expected later this quarter.

If approved as a preventive treatment, Nurtec ODT would compete against other CGRPs such as Amgen and Novartis' Aimovig, Teva Pharmaceutical's Ajovy, and Eli Lilly's Emgality. The good news for Biohaven is that those preventive medications have to be injected; the bad news is that they're dosed once a month or even once a quarter.

Given the choice of daily injections versus a daily tablet, most patients would take an oral medication. When the question is one injection versus 30 tablets, the choice isn't as clear.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. Stock Quote
Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd.
$145.31 (-0.28%) $0.40
Allergan plc Stock Quote
Allergan plc
Eli Lilly and Company Stock Quote
Eli Lilly and Company
$324.71 (0.15%) $0.48
Novartis AG Stock Quote
Novartis AG
$84.36 (-0.20%) $0.17
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited Stock Quote
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
$7.89 (4.92%) $0.37
Amgen Inc. Stock Quote
Amgen Inc.
$245.55 (0.93%) $2.25

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/02/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.