Publications by authors named "Joshua M Cohen"

60 Publications

Reducing the Burden of Migraine: Safety and Efficacy of CGRP Pathway-Targeted Preventive Treatments.

J Clin Med 2022 Jul 27;11(15). Epub 2022 Jul 27.

Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA.

Migraine is a highly disabling and often chronic neurological disease that affects more than one billion people globally. Preventive migraine treatment is recommended for individuals who have frequent and/or disabling attacks; however, many of the medications used for migraine prevention (e.g., antiepileptics, antidepressants, antihypertensives) were not specifically developed for migraine, and often have limited efficacy or poor tolerability. Four monoclonal antibodies targeting the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pathway, which is believed to play a crucial role in the pathophysiology of migraine, have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. All four migraine-specific treatments have demonstrated efficacy based on reductions in monthly days with migraine for patients with both episodic and chronic migraine, including those with comorbidities. They have also demonstrated favorable safety and tolerability profiles. Based on these accounts, CGRP pathway-targeted monoclonal antibodies have the potential to revolutionize preventive treatment for patients with migraine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm11154359DOI Listing
July 2022

Subcutaneous Lateral Temporal Lift.

Clin Plast Surg 2022 Jul 13;49(3):365-375. Epub 2022 May 13.

Northwell Health System/Hofstra University, Zucker School of Medicine, Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, 1009 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10028, USA. Electronic address:

Over the past decades, the understanding of the nuances of forehead anatomy and facial aging has grown immensely. Safe and reliable options for forehead rejuvenation followed. Although noninvasive techniques are an important adjunct in forehead rejuvenation, the mainstay of treatment of the eyebrow is operative intervention. The senior author's technique has developed over many years, first focusing on the open coronal and anterior hairline approach to the forehead lift, then the endoscopic brow lift, and most recently, the lateral subcutaneous temporal lift. This technique allows for reliable and safe elevation of the lateral brow with minimal complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cps.2022.02.001DOI Listing
July 2022

Real-world effectiveness after initiating fremanezumab treatment in US patients with episodic and chronic migraine or difficult-to-treat migraine.

J Headache Pain 2022 May 16;23(1):56. Epub 2022 May 16.

Analysis Group, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb; IgG2Δa) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), is approved for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. The efficacy and safety of fremanezumab for migraine prevention have been demonstrated in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Real-world effectiveness data are needed to complement clinical trial data. This study assessed the effectiveness of fremanezumab across different subgroups of adult patients with episodic migraine (EM), chronic migraine (CM), or difficult-to-treat (DTT) migraine in real-world clinical settings.

Methods: This retrospective, panel-based online chart review used electronic case report forms. Patient inclusion criteria were a physician diagnosis of EM or CM; age ≥ 18 years at the time of first fremanezumab initiation; ≥ 1 dose of fremanezumab treatment; ≥ 1 follow-up visit since first initiation; and ≥ 2 measurements of monthly migraine days (MMD; with 1 within a month before or at first initiation and ≥ 1 after first initiation). Changes in MMD and monthly headache days were assessed during the follow-up period. These endpoints were evaluated in subgroups of patients by migraine type (EM/CM) and in subgroups with DTT migraine (diagnosis of medication overuse [MO], major depressive disorder [MDD], generalized anxiety disorder [GAD], or prior exposure to a different CGRP pathway-targeted mAb [CGRP mAb]).

Results: Data were collected from 421 clinicians and 1003 patients. Mean (percent) reductions from baseline in MMD at Month 6 were - 7.7 (77.0%) in EM patients, - 10.1 (68.7%) in CM patients, - 10.8 (80.6%) in the MO subgroup, - 9.9 (68.3%) in the MDD subgroup, - 9.5 (66.4%) in the GAD subgroup, and - 9.0 (68.7%) in the prior CGRP mAb exposure subgroup. Improvements in MDD or GAD severity were reported by 45.5% and 45.8% of patients with comorbid MDD or GAD, respectively.

Conclusions: In this real-world study, fremanezumab demonstrated effectiveness for migraine regardless of migraine type or the presence of factors contributing to DTT migraine (MO, GAD, MDD, or prior exposure to a different CGRP mAb).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-022-01415-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9109352PMC
May 2022

A real-world study of acute and preventive medication use, adherence, and persistence in patients prescribed fremanezumab in the United States.

J Headache Pain 2022 May 4;23(1):54. Epub 2022 May 4.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Following approval of fremanezumab for the prevention of migraine in adults, health care decision makers are interested in understanding real-world clinical characteristics and treatment patterns among patients initiating fremanezumab therapy.

Methods: Data were obtained for this retrospective (pre-post) study from the Veradigm Health Insights database. The study period was January 1, 2014, to June 30, 2019. Patients were included if they were aged ≥ 18 years; had ≥ 1 migraine diagnosis during the study period; and had a medication record for fremanezumab on or after diagnosis during the identification period (September 1, 2018-December 31, 2018). Treatment patterns, including adherence, persistence, and utilization of acute and preventive migraine medication prescriptions, were evaluated.

Results: Of 987 patients initiating fremanezumab during the study period, 738 (74.8%) were adherent to fremanezumab by proportion of days covered (PDC; ≥ 80%) and 780 (79.0%) were adherent by medication possession ratio (MPR; ≥ 80%). A total of 746 (75.6%) patients were persistent for ≥ 6 months. Quarterly fremanezumab (n = 186) was associated with higher rates of adherence versus monthly fremanezumab (n = 801) by PDC (quarterly, 91.3%; monthly, 84.9%; P < 0.001) and MPR (quarterly, 92.2%; monthly, 87.9%; P = 0.006) and higher persistence at ≥ 6 months (quarterly, 82.8%; monthly, 73.9%; P = 0.011). After fremanezumab initiation, patients who were persistent for ≥ 6 months experienced significant reductions from baseline in the mean monthly number of acute and preventive migraine medication prescriptions (P < 0.001). Subgroup analyses in patients with comorbid depression and anxiety showed meaningful real-world benefits based on significant reductions in the number of patients who were prescribed antidepressants (baseline, 68.6%; follow-up, 56.4%; P = 0.0025) and anxiolytic medications (baseline, 55.0%; follow-up, 47.2%; P = 0.037), respectively. In a subgroup of patients with comorbid hypertension at baseline, fremanezumab treatment resulted in nonsignificant reductions in blood pressure.

Conclusions: Overall, adherence and persistence to fremanezumab in this real-world study was high in patients with migraine, with higher rates observed for quarterly fremanezumab. Patients who were persistent for ≥ 6 months experienced significant reductions in acute and preventive migraine medication use, while a subgroup of migraine patients with comorbid depression and anxiety at baseline showed significant reductions in antidepressant and anxiolytic medication use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-022-01413-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9066733PMC
May 2022

Real-world effectiveness of fremanezumab in migraine patients initiating treatment in the United States: results from a retrospective chart study.

J Headache Pain 2022 Apr 11;23(1):47. Epub 2022 Apr 11.

Analysis Group, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The efficacy and tolerability of fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and is approved for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults, have been demonstrated in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Real-world data can further support those clinical trial data and demonstrate the full clinical benefits of fremanezumab. This chart review assessed the effectiveness of fremanezumab for improving clinical outcomes in adult patients with migraine treated according to real-world clinical practice.

Methods: This retrospective, panel-based, online physician chart review study used electronic case report forms with US physicians. Patient inclusion criteria were a physician diagnosis of migraine, fremanezumab treatment initiation at ≥ 18 years of age after US Food and Drug Administration approval, ≥ 1 dose of fremanezumab treatment, and ≥ 2 assessments of monthly migraine days (MMD; 1 within 30 days before treatment initiation and ≥ 1 after initiation). Changes from baseline in MMD, monthly headache days (MHD), and Migraine Disability Assessment (MIDAS) and 6-item Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) scores were assessed over 6 months. These endpoints were evaluated in the overall population and subgroups divided by dosing schedule and number of prior migraine preventive treatment failures.

Results: This study included data from 421 clinicians and 1003 patients. Mean age at fremanezumab initiation was 39.7 years, and most patients were female (75.8%). In the overall population, mean baseline MMD and MHD were 12.7 and 14.0, respectively. Mean (percent) reductions from baseline in MMD and MHD, respectively, were - 4.6 (36.2%) and - 4.7 (33.6%) at Month 1, - 6.7 (52.8%) and - 6.8 (48.6%) at Month 3, and - 9.2 (72.4%) and - 9.8 (70.0%) at Month 6. Mean (percent) reductions from baseline in MIDAS and HIT-6 scores also increased over the 6-month study period, from - 6.2 (21.6%) and - 8.4 (14.0%) at Month 1 to - 18.1 (63.1%) and - 16.2 (27.0%) at Month 6, respectively. Improvements in these outcomes over 6 months were observed across all evaluated subgroups.

Conclusions: This real-world study demonstrated effectiveness of fremanezumab treatment for up to 6 months, irrespective of dosing regimen or number of prior migraine preventive treatment failures, reflecting ongoing, clinically meaningful improvements in patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-022-01411-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9004075PMC
April 2022

Safety and tolerability of fremanezumab in patients with episodic and chronic migraine: a pooled analysis of phase 3 studies.

Cephalalgia 2022 07 25;42(8):769-780. Epub 2022 Mar 25.

Jefferson Headache Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide, has demonstrated efficacy for preventive treatment of episodic and chronic migraine. Since calcitonin gene-related peptide is expressed within the cardio- and cerebrovascular system and may have cardioprotective effects, it is critical to understand the cardio- and cerebrovascular safety of fremanezumab.

Methods: This was a pooled analysis of three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3, 12-week trials in which patients with episodic migraine or chronic migraine received quarterly fremanezumab, monthly fremanezumab, or placebo. Incidences of overall and serious adverse events were analyzed. Cardio- and cerebrovascular adverse events (CVAEs) were analyzed in subgroups stratified by cardio- and cerebrovascular medical history, cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs), and use of cardio- and cerebrovascular medications or triptans.

Results: Two thousand, eight hundred and forty-two patients were included in the study. Overall (58-65%) and serious adverse events (<1-2%) occurred in similar proportions across fremanezumab and placebo groups. CVAEs were infrequent, regardless of cardio- and cerebrovascular medical history (2-6%). CVAEs occurred in low, similar proportions of patients with CVRFs and those using cardio- and cerebrovascular medications or triptans. No cardio- and cerebrovascular signals were identified.

Conclusion: Fremanezumab demonstrated a favorable overall and cardio- and cerebrovascular safety profile in more than 2800 patients with episodic migraine or chronic migraine, regardless of cardio- and cerebrovascular medical history, CVRFs, or medication use. NCT02629861 (HALO EM, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02629861), NCT02621931 (HALO CM, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02621931), NCT03308968 (FOCUS, https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/ show/NCT03308968).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/03331024221076485DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9218411PMC
July 2022

Efficacy and quality-of-life improvements with fremanezumab treatment in patients with difficult-to-treat migraine with associated neurological dysfunction.

Eur J Neurol 2022 07 29;29(7):2129-2137. Epub 2022 Mar 29.

Jefferson Headache Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background And Purpose: Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) that selectively targets calcitonin-gene-related peptide, has demonstrated efficacy as a preventive treatment for adults with episodic migraine or chronic migraine and inadequate response to two to four prior preventive treatment classes in the phase 3b FOCUS study. In this post hoc analysis, efficacy and effects on quality-of-life outcomes for fremanezumab were evaluated in subgroups of patients with and without aura or similar neurological symptoms, here referred to as migraine with or without associated neurological dysfunction.

Methods: In the FOCUS study, 838 patients were randomized (1:1:1) to quarterly fremanezumab, monthly fremanezumab or matched placebo for 12 weeks of double-blind treatment. For this post hoc analysis, subgroups of patients with migraine with and without associated neurological dysfunction at baseline were identified based on patient response to questions about symptoms.

Results: In patients with migraine with associated neurological dysfunction at baseline, fremanezumab significantly reduced monthly average days with neurological symptoms (quarterly, -1.7 days; monthly, -1.8 days) compared to placebo (-0.5 days; both p ≤ 0.01). In comparison with placebo, both dosing regimens of fremanezumab yielded greater reductions in monthly migraine days over 12 weeks (p < 0.0001) and improvements in Headache Impact Test 6 and Migraine-Specific Quality of Life scores over the last 4 weeks (p < 0.05), regardless of neurological dysfunction at baseline.

Conclusions: Fremanezumab reduced days with neurological symptoms, effectively prevented migraine, and improved quality of life in patients with migraine with associated neurological dysfunction, including those with previous inadequate response to two to four migraine preventive medication classes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ene.15328DOI Listing
July 2022

Real-world impact of fremanezumab on migraine symptoms and resource utilization in the United States.

J Headache Pain 2021 Dec 20;22(1):156. Epub 2021 Dec 20.

Department of Neurology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York Headache Center, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), is approved for migraine prevention in adults. Real-world data on the effectiveness of fremanezumab are limited. This retrospective, observational cohort study assessed patient-reported migraine symptoms, health care resource utilization (HCRU), and direct medical costs before and after fremanezumab treatment initiation.

Methods: Data were extracted from September 2018 through June 2020 from the Midwest component of EMRClaims+®, an integrated health services database containing > 20 million medical records from national commercial insurance claims, Medicare claims, and regional electronic medical records. Patients included in the cohort analysis were aged ≥ 18 years and were administered fremanezumab, with enrollment or treatment history for ≥ 6 months prior (pre-index) to initiating fremanezumab (index date) and ≥ 1 month after the index date (post-index), and without pregnancy or pregnancy-related encounters during the study period. Patient-reported headache frequency, migraine pain intensity (MPI), composite migraine symptoms, and HCRU were assessed pre-index and ≥ 1 month after fremanezumab initiation. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare means of migraine symptoms and outcomes and HCRU before and after fremanezumab initiation.

Results: Overall, 172 patients were eligible for analysis. Of patients who self-reported (n = 129), 83.7% reported improvement in headache frequency or symptoms after fremanezumab treatment. Specifically, headache frequency decreased by 63% after fremanezumab initiation: mean (standard deviation) headache frequency was 22.24 (9.29) days per month pre-index versus 8.24 (7.42) days per month post-index (P < 0.0001). Mean MPI also decreased by 18% after fremanezumab initiation: MPI was 5.47 (3.19) pre-index versus 4.51 (3.34) post-index (P = 0.014). Mean emergency room (ER) visits per month decreased from 0.72 to 0.54 (P = 0.003), and mean outpatient visits per month decreased from 1.04 to 0.81 (P < 0.001). Mean hospitalizations per month decreased, but the results did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.095). Hospitalization and ER costs decreased, while outpatient costs increased, from pre-index to post-index, but differences were not statistically significant (P ≥ 0.232).

Conclusions: Significant reductions in headache frequency, MPI, and HCRU were observed after fremanezumab initiation in patients with migraine in a US real-world setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-021-01358-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8903530PMC
December 2021

Impact of age and sex on the efficacy of fremanezumab in patients with difficult-to-treat migraine: results of the randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3b FOCUS study.

J Headache Pain 2021 Dec 18;22(1):152. Epub 2021 Dec 18.

Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oulu and Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.

Background: Migraine prevalence is age and sex dependent, predominating in women in early and middle adulthood; however, migraine also represents a substantial burden for men and adults of all ages. Thus, understanding this burden and the efficacy of migraine preventive medications in both sexes and across age groups is critical. The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 3b FOCUS study demonstrated the safety and efficacy of fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2∆a) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide as a migraine preventive treatment for individuals with migraine and prior inadequate response to 2 to 4 migraine preventive medication classes. Here, we assessed the efficacy of fremanezumab in participants from FOCUS subgrouped by age (18-45 years and > 45 years) and sex.

Methods: In the FOCUS study, eligible participants were randomized (1:1:1) to 12 weeks of double-blind treatment with quarterly fremanezumab, monthly fremanezumab, or matched monthly placebo. In this post hoc analysis, we evaluated changes from baseline in monthly migraine days (primary endpoint of FOCUS) and other secondary and exploratory efficacy outcomes in prespecified age (18-45 and > 45 years) and sex subgroups.

Results: The modified intention-to-treat population (received ≥ 1 dose of study drug and had ≥ 10 days of postbaseline efficacy assessments for the primary endpoint) totaled 837 participants (18-45 years, n = 373; > 45 years, n = 464; male, n = 138; female, n = 699). Consistent reductions in monthly average number of migraine days during 12 weeks were observed, regardless of age (18-45 years: quarterly fremanezumab, - 4.1 days; monthly fremanezumab, - 4.7 days; placebo, - 0.9 days; P < 0.001; > 45 years: quarterly fremanezumab, - 3.6 days; monthly fremanezumab, - 3.7 days; placebo, - 0.3 days; P < 0.001) and sex (male: quarterly fremanezumab, - 4.1 days; monthly fremanezumab, - 4.6 days; placebo, - 0.3 days; P < 0.001; female: quarterly fremanezumab, - 3.6 days; monthly fremanezumab, - 3.9 days; placebo, - 0.6 days; P < 0.001). Fremanezumab also reduced monthly headache days of at least moderate severity, monthly days of acute medication use, and improved Migraine Disability Assessment scores across subgroups.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate the efficacy of fremanezumab in patients with difficult-to-treat migraine for reducing migraine and headache days, acute medication use, and disability, regardless of age or sex.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT03308968 (FOCUS), registered October 13, 2017.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-021-01336-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8903667PMC
December 2021

Efficacy and safety of fremanezumab in clinical trial participants aged ≥60 years with episodic or chronic migraine: pooled results from 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 studies.

J Headache Pain 2021 Nov 24;22(1):141. Epub 2021 Nov 24.

Headache Medical Centre, Linz, Austria.

Background: Although migraine is less common in older people, preventive treatment of migraine in these individuals may be more challenging due to the presence of multiple comorbidities and polypharmacy. Additionally, evidence for migraine treatment efficacy, safety, and tolerability is limited in this population. We evaluated efficacy, safety, and tolerability of fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), in clinical trial participants aged ≥60 years with episodic migraine (EM) or chronic migraine (CM).

Methods: This analysis included data from 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 studies: the HALO EM study, HALO CM study, and FOCUS study in participants with EM or CM and prior inadequate response to 2-4 migraine preventive medication classes. Participants in all studies were randomized 1:1:1 to receive 12 weeks of subcutaneous treatment with quarterly fremanezumab (Months 1/2/3: EM/CM, 675 mg/placebo/placebo), monthly fremanezumab (Months 1/2/3: EM, 225 mg/225 mg/225 mg; CM, 675 mg/225 mg/225 mg), or matched monthly placebo.

Results: These pooled analyses included 246 participants aged ≥60 years. Reductions in monthly migraine days from baseline over 12 weeks were significantly greater with fremanezumab (least-squares mean change from baseline [standard error]: quarterly fremanezumab, - 4.3 [0.59]; monthly fremanezumab, - 4.6 [0.54]) versus placebo (placebo, - 2.3 [0.57]; both P < 0.01 vs placebo). As early as Week 1, significant reductions from baseline in weekly migraine days were observed with fremanezumab versus placebo (both P < 0.01). With fremanezumab treatment versus placebo, a significantly higher proportion of participants achieved ≥50% reduction in monthly migraine days, and significant improvements in disability and quality-of-life outcomes were observed (P < 0.05). Proportions of participants experiencing serious adverse events and adverse events leading to discontinuation were low and similar in the fremanezumab and placebo groups. Efficacy and safety results were comparable to the overall pooled population (N = 2843).

Conclusions: This pooled subgroup analysis demonstrates that fremanezumab treatment is efficacious and well-tolerated over 12 weeks in participants aged ≥60 years with EM or CM. These data may help healthcare providers with clinical decision making and preventive treatment selection for older patients with migraine.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: HALO CM: NCT02621931 ; HALO EM: NCT02629861 ; FOCUS: NCT03308968 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-021-01351-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8903616PMC
November 2021

Comment on: Gao B, Lu Q, Wan R, Wang Z, Yang Y, Chen Z, Wang Z. "Monthly versus quarterly fremanezumab for the prevention of migraine: a systemic review and meta-analysis from randomized controlled trials". Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2021 Apr;394(4):819-828. Epublished November 2020.

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 2021 11 28;394(11):2343-2346. Epub 2021 Sep 28.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., West Chester, PA, USA.

Recently, Gao et al. published an article titled "Monthly versus quarterly fremanezumab for the prevention of migraine: a systemic review and meta-analysis from randomized controlled trials" which concluded that monthly administration of fremanezumab led to significant reduction in monthly migraine days (MMD) when compared to quarterly fremanezumab. We have noted a critical flaw in Gao et al. meta-analysis wherein the authors have mistakenly utilized standard error values in place of standard deviation values in performing their pooled analyses. This error directly impacts the study results and conclusions. In this brief communication, we present revised analysis using correct methods. Using the correct SD values, our pooled analysis showed no significant difference in mean change from baseline in MMD between the two fremanezumab dosing regimens (P = 0.17). Furthermore, in the corrected subgroup analyses by type of migraine, there were no significant differences in mean change from baseline in MMD between monthly fremanezumab and quarterly fremanezumab (chronic migraine, P = 0.50; episodic migraine, P = 0.69). Overall, results from our corrected meta-analyses show that there is no significant difference in migraine prevention efficacy between monthly and quarterly fremanezumab dosing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00210-021-02156-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8514361PMC
November 2021

Evidence-Based Medicine in Plastic Surgery: From Then to Now.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2021 Oct;148(4):645e-649e

From the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute; Baylor College of Medicine; Hansjorg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Health; and Section of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School.

Summary: Evidence-based medicine, as described by Dr. Sackett, is defined as the "conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence, combined with individual clinical expertise and patient preferences and values, in making decisions about the care of individual patients." In the late 2000s, seminal articles in Clinics in Plastic Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery introduced evidence-based medicine's role in plastic surgery and redefined varying levels of evidence. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons sponsored the Colorado Springs Evidence-Based Medicine Summit that set forth a consensus statement and action plan regarding the increased incorporation of evidence-based medicine into the field; this key meeting ushered a new era among plastic surgeons worldwide. Over the past decade, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has incorporated evidence-based medicine into the Journal through an increase in articles with level I and II evidence, new sections of the Journal, and the introduction of validated tools to help authors perform prospective and randomized studies that ultimately  led to best practices used today. Plastic surgery is a specialty built on problem-solving and innovation, values starkly in-line with evidence-based medicine. Evidence-based medicine is becoming more ingrained in our everyday practice and plastic surgery culture; however, we must work actively to ensure that we continue this trend. In the next decade, we will possibly see that level I and II evidence articles start to inhabit many of our journal issues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000008368DOI Listing
October 2021

Improvements in quality of life and work productivity with up to 6 months of fremanezumab treatment in patients with episodic and chronic migraine and documented inadequate response to 2 to 4 classes of migraine-preventive medications in the phase 3b FOCUS study.

Headache 2021 10 10;61(9):1376-1386. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Background: Migraine is associated with depression as well as negative impact on quality of life and work productivity. Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa), selectively targets the calcitonin gene-related peptide and has proven efficacy for the preventive treatment of migraine.

Objective: In this open-label extension (OLE) of the phase 3b FOCUS study, we assessed patient-reported outcomes (PROs) over time.

Methods: Patients with episodic migraine (EM) and chronic migraine (CM) completing the 12-week, double-blind (DB) period of the FOCUS trial entered the 12-week OLE and received three monthly doses of fremanezumab (225 mg). PROs included the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life (MSQoL) questionnaire (role function-restrictive [RFR], role function-preventive [RFP], and emotional function [EF] domains), EuroQol-5-Dimension-5-Level (EQ-5D-5L) questionnaire, Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) assessment, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire, and 9-Item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9).

Results: A total of 838 patients were randomized in the DB period, 807 entered the OLE at 3 months, and 772 were still enrolled at 6 months. At 6 months, patients in the quarterly fremanezumab, monthly fremanezumab, and placebo DB randomization groups, respectively, reported improvements in RFR (mean [standard deviation] change from baseline: 24.6 [21.9]; 22.9 [21.3]; 20.8 [26.5]), RFP (19.6 [20.0]; 18.3 [19.7]; 16.0 [19.9]), and EF (22.5 [24.2]; 19.1 [23.6]; 17.2 [24.7]) domains of the MSQoL questionnaire, the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire (8.0 [19.6]; 7.3 [21.1]; 6.6 [21.0]), all four domains of the WPAI questionnaire, and the PHQ-9 (-2.4 [5.3]; -1.6 [5.5]; -2.0 [4.9]); 77.1% (209/271), 75.4% (205/272), and 68.8% (181/263) of patients were identified as PGIC responders.

Conclusion: Among patients with EM or CM and prior inadequate response to multiple migraine-preventive medication classes, progressive improvements in MSQoL, depression, and work productivity were achieved during 6 months of fremanezumab treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/head.14196DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8597120PMC
October 2021

Efficacy and safety of fremanezumab in patients with episodic and chronic migraine with documented inadequate response to 2 to 4 classes of migraine preventive medications over 6 months of treatment in the phase 3b FOCUS study.

J Headache Pain 2021 Jul 10;22(1):68. Epub 2021 Jul 10.

Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical Faculty of the University Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.

Background: Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) selectively targets the calcitonin gene-related peptide and has proven efficacy for the preventive treatment of migraine. In this study, we evaluated the long-term efficacy, safety, and tolerability of monthly and quarterly fremanezumab.

Methods: Episodic migraine and chronic migraine patients completing the 12-week double-blind period of the FOCUS trial entered the 12-week open-label extension and received 3 monthly doses of fremanezumab (225 mg). Changes from baseline in monthly migraine days, monthly headache days of at least moderate severity, days of acute headache medication use, days with photophobia/phonophobia, days with nausea or vomiting, disability scores, and proportion of patients achieving a ≥50% or  ≥75% reduction in monthly migraine days were evaluated.

Results: Of the 807 patients who completed the 12-week double-blind treatment period and entered the open-label extension, 772 patients completed the study. In the placebo, quarterly fremanezumab, and monthly fremanezumab dosing regimens, respectively, patients had fewer average monthly migraine days (mean [standard deviation] change from baseline: - 4.7 [5.4]; - 5.1 [4.7]; - 5.5 [5.0]), monthly headache days of at least moderate severity (- 4.5 [5.0]; - 4.8 [4.5]; - 5.2 [4.9]), days per month of acute headache medication use (- 4.3 [5.2]; - 4.9 [4.6]; - 4.8 [4.9]), days with photophobia/phonophobia (- 3.1 [5.3]; - 3.4 [5.3]; - 4.0 [5.2]), and days with nausea or vomiting (- 2.3 [4.6]; - 3.1 [4.5]; - 3.0 [4.4]). During the 12-week open-label extension, 38%, 45%, and 46% of patients, respectively, achieved a ≥50% reduction and 16%, 15%, and 20%, respectively, achieved a ≥75% reduction in monthly migraine days. Disability scores were substantially improved in all 3 treatment groups. There were low rates of adverse events leading to discontinuation (<1%).

Conclusion: Fremanezumab demonstrated sustained efficacy up to 6 months and was well tolerated in patients with episodic migraine or chronic migraine and documented inadequate response to multiple migraine preventive medication classes.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03308968 (FOCUS).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-021-01279-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8272284PMC
July 2021

Revisiting Primary Otoplasty: Surgical Approach to the Prominent Ear.

Plast Reconstr Surg 2021 Jul;148(1):28e-31e

From the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute and the Hansjorg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Health.

Summary: Prominent ears and other ear deformities are some of the most common congenital deformities of the head, affecting over 10 percent of the general population. In 2018, more than 10,000 otoplasties were performed in the United States, with over one-third performed on men. The goal of primary otoplasty is creation of a normal-appearing ear without evidence of surgical intervention. This article and video detail the authors' preferred technique for the treatment of prominent ears. This novel method allows for reduction of a hypertrophic concha and obtuse conchoscaphal angle, as well as creation of an adequate antihelical fold.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PRS.0000000000008105DOI Listing
July 2021

Reduction in the severity and duration of headache following fremanezumab treatment in patients with episodic and chronic migraine.

Headache 2021 06 11;61(6):916-926. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Global Medical Affairs, Teva Branded Pharmaceutical Products R&D, Inc., West Chester, PA, USA.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of fremanezumab on the severity and duration of remaining migraine attacks in patients with chronic migraine (CM) or episodic migraine (EM).

Background: Fremanezumab is a fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgGΔa) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide and is efficacious in reducing migraine frequency.

Methods: This exploratory post hoc analysis included data from three randomized, double-blind, 12-week, phase 3 studies (HALO CM, HALO EM, and FOCUS). In all three studies, patients with CM or EM were randomized 1:1:1 to receive subcutaneous quarterly fremanezumab (month 1/2/3: 675 mg/placebo/placebo), monthly fremanezumab (month 1/2/3: 675 mg [CM], 225 mg [EM]/225 mg/225 mg), or matched monthly placebo. Changes from baseline were evaluated in the proportion of headache days of at least moderate severity, peak severity of headache days, mean monthly headache hours (of any severity and at least moderate severity), and mean headache hours per headache day of any severity.

Results: A total of 2843 patients were randomized with 2823 patients included in the efficacy analyses across all studies (HALO CM, N = 1121; HALO EM, N = 865; FOCUS, N = 837). At study baseline, mean (standard deviation [SD]) monthly number of headache days rated moderate or severe in the quarterly fremanezumab, monthly fremanezumab, and placebo groups, respectively, were 13.2 (5.5), 12.8 (5.8), and 13.3 (5.8) in HALO CM; 7.2 (3.1), 6.8 (2.9), and 6.9 (3.1) in HALO EM; and 12.4 (5.8), 12.7 (5.8), and 12.8 (5.9) in FOCUS. Patients experienced significant least-squares mean (LSM; 95% confidence interval) percent reductions from baseline in monthly number of headache days rated moderate or severe during the 12 weeks: HALO CM, quarterly fremanezumab, 34.5% (-39.8, -29.2) and monthly fremanezumab, 36.2% (-41.4, -31.0) vs. placebo, 19.6% (-20.0, -14.3); HALO EM, quarterly fremanezumab, 40.7% (-47.8, -33.5) and monthly fremanezumab, 43.4% (-50.4, -36.3) vs. placebo, 17.9% (-24.9, -11.0); and FOCUS, quarterly fremanezumab, 36.5% (-41.9, -31.1) and monthly fremanezumab, 38.6% (-44.0, -33.3) vs. placebo, 3.5% (-8.9, 1.8); all p < 0.0001. At study baseline, mean (SD) number of monthly headache hours rated moderate or severe in the quarterly fremanezumab, monthly fremanezumab, and placebo groups, respectively, were 66.4 (58.8), 68.0 (53.9), and 68.5 (57.0) in HALO CM; 33.3 (25.4), 31.7 (23.7), and 31.6 (23.2) in HALO EM; and 59.2 (54.7), 64.3 (65.2), and 65.9 (70.2) in FOCUS. Significant reductions were observed in LSM (standard error) number of monthly headache hours of at least moderate severity: HALO CM, quarterly fremanezumab, 24.4 (2.5) and monthly fremanezumab, 26.4 (2.3) vs. placebo, 14.1 (2.5); HALO EM, quarterly fremanezumab, 14.5 (1.4) and monthly fremanezumab, 15.5 (1.3) vs. placebo, 8.1 (1.3); and FOCUS, quarterly fremanezumab, 16.8 (3.0) and monthly fremanezumab, 18.3 (3.0) vs. placebo, 2.3 (3.0); all p < 0.001.

Conclusion: These analyses demonstrated that quarterly or monthly treatment with fremanezumab significantly reduced headache severity and duration in patients with CM or EM, including in patients with documented inadequate response to two to four prior migraine preventive medication classes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/head.14127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362007PMC
June 2021

PEARL study protocol: a real-world study of fremanezumab effectiveness in patients with chronic or episodic migraine.

Pain Manag 2021 Nov 9;11(6):647-654. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Department of First Neurology, Aeginition Hospital, Medical School, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, 11528, Greece.

Fremanezumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide and is approved in Europe for migraine prevention in adults with ≥4 migraine days/month. The Pan-European Real Life (PEARL) study is a 24-month, prospective, observational study of fremanezumab in chronic or episodic migraine. End points include proportion of patients with ≥50% reduction in monthly migraine days during 6 months of treatment (primary); changes in monthly migraine days, disability scores and acute headache medication use; adherence and persistence; and effectiveness in patients switching from another calcitonin gene-related peptide pathway-targeting monoclonal antibody. PEARL is being conducted in approximately 100 centers in 11 European countries (estimated n = 1100). PEARL will generate important real-world data on effectiveness of fremanezumab and treatment patterns in patients with chronic migraine or episodic migraine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/pmt-2021-0015DOI Listing
November 2021

Fremanezumab for the Preventive Treatment of Migraine: Subgroup Analysis by Number of Prior Preventive Treatments with Inadequate Response.

Cephalalgia 2021 09 14;41(10):1075-1088. Epub 2021 May 14.

Headache Unit, Neurology Department, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of monthly or quarterly fremanezumab in patients with chronic migraine or episodic migraine and documented inadequate response to 2, 3, or 4 classes of prior migraine preventive medications.

Methods: This is an exploratory analysis of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 3b trial for patients with chronic migraine or episodic migraine and inadequate response to 2 to 4 prior migraine preventive medication classes randomized (1:1:1) to fremanezumab (quarterly or monthly) or placebo. In this exploratory analysis, changes from baseline in the monthly average number of migraine days during 12 weeks of double-blind treatment and adverse events were evaluated for predefined subgroups of patients by number of prior preventive medication classes with inadequate response.

Results: Overall, 414, 265, and 153 patients had inadequate response to 2, 3, and 4 preventive medication classes, respectively. Changes from baseline in monthly average migraine days during 12 weeks were significantly greater with fremanezumab compared with placebo for patients with documented inadequate response to 2 classes (least-squares mean difference vs placebo [95% confidence interval]: quarterly, -2.9 [-3.83, -1.98]; monthly, -3.7 [-4.63, -2.75]), 3 classes (quarterly, -3.3 [-4.65, -1.95]; monthly, -3.0 [-4.25, -1.66]), and 4 classes (quarterly, -5.3 [-7.38, -3.22]; monthly, -5.4 [-7.35, -3.48]) of migraine preventive medications (all  0.001). No significant treatment-by-subgroup interactions were observed for any outcome ( interaction > 0.20 for all). Adverse events were comparable for placebo and fremanezumab.

Conclusion: Significant improvements in efficacy were observed with fremanezumab compared with placebo, even in patients who had previously experienced inadequate response to 4 different classes of migraine preventive medications. NCT03308968.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/03331024211008401DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8411464PMC
September 2021

Effects of fremanezumab in patients with chronic migraine and comorbid depression: Subgroup analysis of the randomized HALO CM study.

Headache 2021 Apr;61(4):662-672

Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of fremanezumab in patients with chronic migraine (CM) and moderate to severe depression.

Background: Fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide, has been approved for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults. CM and depression are highly comorbid.

Methods: The 12-week, Phase 3 HALO trial randomized patients with CM to fremanezumab quarterly (675 mg/placebo/placebo), fremanezumab monthly (675/225/225 mg), or placebo. Post hoc analyses evaluated the effects of fremanezumab in patients with moderate to severe depression (baseline 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire sum score ≥10) on monthly number of headache days of at least moderate severity; monthly migraine days; Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC); 6-item Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) scores; and depression.

Results: For the 219/1121 (19.5%) patients with moderate to severe depression at baseline, fremanezumab was associated with a significant reduction in monthly number of headache days of at least moderate severity for active treatment versus placebo (least-squares mean change ± standard error for quarterly dosing: -5.3 ± 0.77; for monthly dosing: -5.5 ± 0.72; and for placebo: -2.2 ± 0.81; both p < 0.001). More patients achieved a ≥50% reduction in headache days of at least moderate severity with fremanezumab (quarterly: 31/78 [39.7%]; monthly: 39/96 [40.6%]) than placebo (9/67 [13.4%]; both p < 0.001). Compared with placebo, fremanezumab improved PGIC and HIT-6 scores.

Conclusions: Fremanezumab demonstrated efficacy in the preventive treatment of CM and reduced headache impact in patients with comorbid depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/head.14097DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8251795PMC
April 2021

Efficacy and safety of fremanezumab in patients with migraine and inadequate response to prior preventive treatment: subgroup analyses by country of a randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

J Headache Pain 2021 Apr 16;22(1):26. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Department of Neurology, Charité Universitätsmedizin, Charitépl. 1, 10117, Berlin, Germany.

Background: The FOCUS study evaluated the efficacy of migraine preventive medications across different countries within the same patient population, particularly for patients with difficult-to-treat migraine. These prespecified subgroup analyses evaluated efficacy by country in the FOCUS study of fremanezumab in adults with episodic migraine or chronic migraine and documented inadequate response to 2 to 4 migraine preventive medication classes.

Methods: Overall, 838 participants were enrolled in the FOCUS study, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, phase 3b study performed at 104 sites. For 12 weeks of double-blind treatment, patients were randomized (1:1:1) to quarterly fremanezumab, monthly fremanezumab, or matched placebo. The primary efficacy endpoint was the mean change from baseline in monthly average migraine days over 12 weeks of double-blind treatment, evaluated by country in these subgroup analyses.

Results: Of 14 countries contributing data, the Czech Republic (n = 188/838; 22%), the United States (n = 120/838; 14%), and Finland (n = 85/838; 10%) enrolled the most patients. Changes from baseline in monthly average migraine days over 12 weeks were significantly greater with fremanezumab versus placebo for patients in these countries: Czech Republic (least-squares mean difference versus placebo [95% confidence interval]: quarterly fremanezumab, - 1.9 [- 3.25, - 0.47]; P = 0.009; monthly fremanezumab, - 3.0 [- 4.39, - 1.59]; P < 0.001), the United States (quarterly fremanezumab, - 3.7 [- 5.77, - 1.58]; P < 0.001; monthly fremanezumab, - 4.2 [- 6.23, - 2.13]; P < 0.001), and Finland (quarterly fremanezumab, - 3.0 [- 5.32, - 0.63]; P = 0.014; monthly fremanezumab, - 3.9 [- 6.27, - 1.44]; P = 0.002). Results were comparable for the remaining 9 countries, with the least-squares mean difference versus placebo ranging from - 5.6 to - 2.4 with quarterly fremanezumab and from - 5.3 to - 1.5 with monthly fremanezumab. Incidences of serious adverse events and adverse events leading to discontinuation were low and comparable across countries and treatment groups.

Conclusions: Monthly and quarterly fremanezumab significantly reduced the monthly average number of migraine days versus placebo regardless of country and continent (North America versus Europe) in migraine patients with documented inadequate response to 2 to 4 migraine preventive medication classes.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03308968 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-021-01232-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8052719PMC
April 2021

Immunogenicity of biologic therapies for migraine: a review of current evidence.

J Headache Pain 2021 Jan 7;22(1). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, West Chester, PA, USA.

Background: Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pathway have been shown to be effective in migraine prevention. Eptinezumab, erenumab, fremanezumab, and galcanezumb have shown efficacy in clinical trials along with favorable safety and tolerability profiles. Although erenumab is a human mAb and the others have been humanized to varying degrees, they all have the capacity to provoke immune reactions. The present review article aims to discuss the current relationship between mAbs targeting the CGRP pathway (CGRP mAbs) and immunogenicity and their potential clinical implications.

Findings: The incidence of patients developing anti-drug antibodies (ADAs), their titer, and clinical significance are highly variable and depend on a variety of different drug and patient factors. Neutralizing ADAs (NAbs) bind to and inhibit or reduce the pharmacologic activity of the biologic drug molecule, whereas non-neutralizing antibodies (Non-NAbs) bind to the biologic drug molecule without affecting pharmacologic activity in an in vitro test, although pharmacokinetics and drug clearance may be affected. A direct comparison of immunogenicity data across clinical trials with different biologics is not possible due to a lack of standardized assays. Several phase 2, phase 3, and long-term studies evaluating CGRP mAbs for migraine prevention have reported immunogenicity data (5 studies each for eptinezumab, erenumab, fremanezumab, and galcanezumab). Across these studies, prevalence of ADAs varied, ranging from < 1% to ~ 18%. Neutralizing ADAs were slightly less common, with a prevalence ranging from 0 to 12%. Adverse events related to ADA formation were rare.

Conclusions: As more CGRP mAb studies are conducted and more long-term follow-up data become available, evidence is increasing that immunogenicity rates of biologic therapies for migraine are low, and adverse events related to ADAs are rare. Taken together, these results add to the growing body of evidence for the safety and tolerability of this class of migraine medications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-020-01211-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791637PMC
January 2021

Treatment benefit among migraine patients taking fremanezumab: results from a post hoc responder analysis of two placebo-controlled trials.

J Headache Pain 2021 Jan 7;22(1). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Jefferson Headache Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Background: Monoclonal antibodies targeting the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pathway, including the fully humanized monoclonal antibody (IgG2Δa) fremanezumab, have demonstrated safety and efficacy for migraine prevention. Clinical trials include responders and nonresponders; efficacy outcomes describe mean values across both groups and thus provide little insight into the clinical benefit in responders. Clinicians and their patients want to understand the extent of clinical improvement in patients who respond. This post hoc analysis of fremanezumab treatment attempts to answer this question: what is the benefit in subjects who responded to treatment during the two, phase 3 HALO clinical trials?

Methods: We included subjects with episodic migraine (EM) or chronic migraine (CM) who received fremanezumab quarterly (675 mg/placebo/placebo) or monthly (EM: 225 mg/225 mg/225 mg; CM: 675 mg/225 mg/225 mg) during the 12-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled HALO EM and HALO CM clinical trials. EM and CM responders were defined as participants with a reduction of ≥ 2 or ≥ 4 monthly migraine days, respectively. Treatment benefits evaluated included reductions in monthly migraine days, acute headache medication use, and headache-related disability, and changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Results: Overall, 857 participants from the HALO trials were identified as responders (EM: 429 [73.8%]; CM: 428 [56.7%]). Reductions in the monthly average number of migraine days were greater among EM (quarterly: 5.4 days; monthly: 5.5 days) and CM (quarterly: 8.7 days; monthly: 9.1 days) responders compared with the overall population. The proportion of participants achieving ≥ 50% reduction in the average monthly number of migraine days was also greater in responders (EM: quarterly, 59.8%; monthly, 63.7%; CM: quarterly, 52.8%; monthly, 59.0%) than in the overall population. Greater reductions in the average number of days of acute headache medication use, greater reductions in headache-related disability scores, and larger improvements in HRQoL were observed among EM and CM responders compared with the overall populations.

Conclusions: Fremanezumab responders achieved clinically meaningful improvements in all outcomes. The magnitude of improvements with fremanezumab across efficacy outcomes was far greater in responders than in the overall trial population, providing insight into expected treatment benefits in participants who respond to fremanezumab in clinical practice.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifiers: NCT02629861 (HALO EM) and NCT02621931 (HALO CM).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-020-01212-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7792179PMC
January 2021

Reversion From Chronic Migraine to Episodic Migraine in Patients Treated With Fremanezumab: Post Hoc Analysis From HALO CM Study.

Headache 2020 Nov 11;60(10):2444-2453. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.

Background: Migraine preventive medications are used to reduce headache frequency, severity, and duration. In patients with chronic migraine (CM), reversion to episodic migraine (EM) is an important treatment goal.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of fremanezumab on the rate of reversion from CM to EM.

Methods: This phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial included a 28-day pretreatment period and a 3-month treatment period. Patients with CM received subcutaneous fremanezumab quarterly (675 mg at baseline) or monthly (675 mg at baseline; 225 mg at Weeks 4 and 8), or placebo. Post hoc analyses evaluated the proportion of patients who reverted from CM to EM, defined as either a reduction to an average of <15 headache days per month during the 3-month treatment period or a reduction to <15 headache days per month in all 3 months of the treatment period.

Results: This analysis included data from 1088 CM patients (quarterly, n = 366; monthly, n = 365; placebo, n = 357). More fremanezumab-treated patients with CM reverted to EM using either the monthly average number of headache days criteria for reversion (quarterly: 50.5% [185/366], P = .108; monthly: 53.7% [196/365], P = .012; vs placebo: 44.5% [159/357]) or the monthly headache day count at Months 1, 2, and 3 criteria for reversion (quarterly: 31.2% [114/366], P = .008; monthly: 33.7% [123/365], P = .001; vs placebo: 22.4% [80/357]). Patients with CM who reported previous topiramate or onabotulinumtoxinA use, concomitant preventive medication use, or medication overuse were less likely to revert to EM.

Conclusions: Fremanezumab may offer the benefit of reversion from CM to EM, based on a reduction in the number of headache days over 3 months of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/head.13997DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756262PMC
November 2020

No "Wearing-Off Effect" Seen in Quarterly or Monthly Dosing of Fremanezumab: Subanalysis of a Randomized Long-Term Study.

Headache 2020 Nov 28;60(10):2431-2443. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Neurology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, USA.

Objective: To evaluate whether quarterly or monthly administration of fremanezumab for migraine prevention exhibits a pattern of decreased efficacy toward the end of the dosing interval (wearing-off effect).

Background: The main goals of migraine preventive treatment are to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks, and migraine-associated disability. Wearing-off refers to the phenomenon whereby clinical symptoms return or worsen before the next dose of a drug is due and has been reported previously with migraine preventive medications.

Design And Methods: This was a long-term, 12-month, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group phase 3 study (NCT02638103) that included chronic (CM) and episodic migraine (EM) patients who rolled over from the 12-week phase 3 HALO CM (NCT02621931) and EM trials (NCT02629861), as well as an additional subset of 312 new patients. Patients with CM or EM received fremanezumab either monthly or quarterly. In this post hoc analysis, for selected months, the difference in the average number of migraine days between weeks 1-2 and weeks 3-4, between weeks 1-3 and week 4, and between weeks 1-2 and weeks 11-12 were calculated.

Results: A total of 1890 patients (CM, 1110; EM, 780) were enrolled. At months 3, 6, 9, and 15, there were no substantial differences in mean weekly migraine days between weeks 1-2 and weeks 3-4 or between weeks 1-3 and week 4 with quarterly or monthly fremanezumab in the CM or EM subgroups. There were no substantial increases in mean weekly migraine days between weeks 1-2 and weeks 11-12 during the first quarter of treatment (months 1-3) or the second quarter of treatment (months 4-6) with quarterly or monthly fremanezumab in the CM or EM subgroups. Across both dosing subgroups in CM and EM patients, the mean weekly number of migraine days decreased substantially (30%-42%) during the first 2 weeks; decreases in weekly migraine days remained steady during the last 2 weeks of the first quarter, with a similar maintenance of response during the second quarter.

Conclusions: This analysis of data from a long-term, phase 3 study showed that patients receiving quarterly fremanezumab or monthly fremanezumab did not experience a wearing-off effect toward the end of the dosing interval.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/head.13994DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756709PMC
November 2020

The impact of fremanezumab on medication overuse in patients with chronic migraine: subgroup analysis of the HALO CM study.

J Headache Pain 2020 Sep 21;21(1):114. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Evangelical Hospital Unna, Unna, Germany.

Background: We evaluated the efficacy of fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody that selectively targets calcitonin gene-related peptide, in patients with chronic migraine (CM) with and without medication overuse (MO).

Methods: In a 12-week, phase 3 trial, patients with CM were randomized to fremanezumab quarterly (675 mg/placebo/placebo), monthly (675 mg/225 mg/225 mg), or placebo. Post hoc analyses assessed the impact of fremanezumab in patients with and without MO (monthly use of acute headache medication ≥15 days, migraine-specific acute medication ≥10 days, or combination medication ≥10 days) on efficacy outcomes, including headache days of at least moderate severity (HDs), and six-item Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) and Migraine-Specific Quality of Life (MSQoL) questionnaire scores.

Results: Of 1130 patients enrolled, 587 (51.9%) had baseline MO. Fremanezumab reduced placebo-adjusted least-squares mean (95% confidence interval) monthly HDs (- 2.2 [- 3.1 to - 1.2] and - 2.7 [- 3.7 to - 1.8]; P < 0.0001) in patients with MO and without MO (quarterly - 1.4 [- 2.3 to - 0.5], P = 0.0026; monthly - 1.4 [- 2.3 to - 0.6], P = 0.0017). Significantly more fremanezumab-treated patients had ≥ 50% reduction in HDs versus placebo, regardless of baseline MO (with: quarterly 70/201 [34.8%], monthly 78/198 [39.4%] vs placebo 26/188 [13.8%]; without: quarterly 71/174 [40.8%], monthly 75/177 [42.4%] vs placebo 41/183 [22.4%]). Fremanezumab improved HIT-6 and MSQoL scores. Significantly more fremanezumab-treated patients reverted to no MO (quarterly 111/201 [55.2%], monthly 120/198 [60.6%]) versus placebo (87/188 [46.3%]).

Conclusions: Fremanezumab is effective for prevention of migraine in patients with CM, regardless of MO, and demonstrated a benefit over placebo in reducing MO.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02621931 (HALO CM), registered December 12, 2012.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s10194-020-01173-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7507645PMC
September 2020

Long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of fremanezumab in migraine: A randomized study.

Neurology 2020 11 10;95(18):e2487-e2499. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

From NIHR-Wellcome Trust King's Clinical Research Facility (P.J.G.), SLaM Biomedical Research Centre, King's College London, UK; Jefferson Headache Center (S.D.S.), Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (P.P.Y., J.M.C., X.N., R.Y.), Frazer, PA; and Mayo Clinic (D.W.D.), Phoenix, AZ.

Objective: To assess the long-term safety, tolerability, and efficacy of fremanezumab, a fully humanized monoclonal antibody approved for the preventive treatment of migraine.

Methods: A 52-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group study evaluated fremanezumab monthly or quarterly in adults with chronic migraine (CM) or episodic migraine (EM). Safety and tolerability were assessed by adverse event (AE) monitoring (performed by the investigators), systematic local injection-site assessments (immediately and 1 hour after injection), laboratory/vitals assessments, and immunogenicity testing. Prespecified exploratory evaluations included change from baseline in the monthly number of migraine days, headache days of at least moderate severity, and days with any acute headache medication use. Change from baseline in headache-related disability (6-item Headache Impact Test scores) was also measured.

Results: Of 1,890 patients enrolled, 551 and 559 patients with CM received quarterly and monthly dosing; 394 and 386 patients with EM received quarterly or monthly, respectively. The most commonly reported AEs were injection-site reactions (induration 33%, pain 31%, and erythema 26%). Fremanezumab reduced monthly migraine days (CM quarterly -7.2 days, CM monthly -8.0 days, EM quarterly -5.2 days, EM monthly -5.1 days) and headache days of at least moderate severity (CM quarterly -6.4 days, CM monthly -6.8 days, EM quarterly -4.4, EM monthly -4.2 days) from baseline to 12 months. Reductions in any acute headache medication use and headache-related disability were also maintained over 12 months.

Conclusions: Fremanezumab quarterly and fremanezumab monthly were well tolerated and demonstrated sustained improvements in monthly migraine days, headache days, and headache-related disability for up to 12 months in patients with migraine.

Clinicaltrialsgov: NCT02638103.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that long-term fremanezumab treatment is safe, well tolerated, and effective at sustaining reductions in monthly migraine and headache days.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010600DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7682830PMC
November 2020
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