2021-09-01| Asia-Pacific

Daiichi Sankyo Partners with Lilly on a Second Migraine Drug Deal in Japan

by Tyler Chen
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Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo has struck another migraine drug deal with Eli Lilly’s Japan subsidiary to commercialize a first-in-class 5-HT1F receptor agonist for migraine called lasmiditan succinate. The drug was approved by the USFDA in October 2019, and Lilly has already filed a new drug application in Japan.

Migraine is a neurological disease that causes 4 to 72 hours of headache in one or both sides of the head. It usually comes with symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Currently, migraines have no cure, but symptoms can be addressed with treatments.


First and Only FDA-Approved 5-HT1F Receptor Agonist

Lasmiditan succinate binds to 5-HT1F receptors on trigeminal nerve cells, thereby inhibiting pain transmission and the overactivity of trigeminal nerve cells which plays a part in causing migraines. It is also the first new class of acute migraine treatment approved by the USFDA in over 20 years.

As per the term, Lilly will be responsible for the authorization of lasmiditan succinate while Daiichi Sankyo will take care of distribution and sales after the drug is approved in Japan.

In October 2020, Daiichi Sankyo partnered up with Lilly on their first migraine drug deal to commercialize an antibody called Emgality (galcanezumab). The antibody can bind to a relevant target called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) to treat migraines. Emgality was approved in Japan within a year, becoming the country’s first approved antibody as the preventive treatment for migraines.

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