Frovatriptan, a selective 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonist, is approved as an acute oral treatment for migraine headache and its associated symptoms. Frovatriptan was developed, commercialised, and brought to market by Vernalis.
Frovatriptan is one of a class of prescription drugs called triptans, several of which are approved for the treatment of migraine.
Long half-life in the bloodstream
The key feature of frovatriptan is its exceptionally long blood half-life, which is in the region of 26 hours.
- 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonist
- Indicated for the acute treatment of migraine headache
- Enjoys growing sales and market share
As the first marketed product for Vernalis, frovatriptan was approved for the acute treatment of migraine in the EU in 2001 and in the United States in 2002, and remains on the market in these and other territories.
Despite the setback, in 2007, when frovatriptan failed to gain approval for the alternative indication of menstrual migraine it continues to sell well and is successfully marketed in many countries. It’s licensed to Menarini for Europe, Central America and Brazil, and Vernalis earns royalties on sales in these territories.
SK Chemicals holds the rights to the South Korean market (approved in 2009) and Vernalis receives royalties.
Marketing rights in other areas of the world are still available.
Menarini markets the product in Europe and Central America and plans further launches in these markets over the next few years.
During 2009, Vernalis had only limited economic interest in Menarini frovatriptan sales. But on 8th March 2010 (with effect from 1 January 2010), Vernalis regained 100% of the royalties receivable on Menarini’s sales by terminating agreements under which Paul Capital Healthcare had acquired an interest in 90 per cent of the Menarini royalty stream.
The composition of matter patent expired in December 2015.