Acute Headaches


Headaches are one of the commonest causes for consultation with a primary care physician, pharmacist or neurologist.

The most common headache is migraine headache, from which typically rapid relief is desired, both from the pain itself, and in some people also from the marked nausea and vomiting which may occur. Migraine is one of the top 20 causes of disability expressed as years of healthy life lost to disability (The World Health Report 2001, WHO) and in the UK alone there are an estimated 190,000 migraine attacks every single day (Steiner et al, Cephalalgia, 2003). Reported prevalence rates are 20% for women and 10% for men.

Rapid relief is particularly important in a related headache syndrome, cluster headache. Characteristics of cluster headache are the extreme severity of the pain, to the extent that it may result in suicide and said to be worse than labour pains, the rapid peak in intensity and predictable recurrence of the pain. It may occur several times per day and will usually occur every day, typically at the same time. Subcutaneous sumatriptan is effective for some patients, but has important contraindications and is unpalatable to many patients. CGRP inhibitors are beginning to reach the clinic and are a welcome additional option for acute headache management, although trials indicate that only a subset of patients will be helped.

VAS047 is targeted towards the rapid relief of headache. The programme incorporates novel proprietary formulation technology utilising FDA approved excipients with proof-of-concept preclinical data having already been generated.