Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY), Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), Allergan, Inc. (AGN): Three Companies Working to Make Your Migraines Milder

3. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

Although Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) canceled a late-stage study for a migraine drug in 2011 and another one a couple of years earlier, the company still has another treatment in its pipeline. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s MK-1602 is in phase 2 development.

MK-1602, like Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY)’s LY2951742, focuses on the CGRP protein. However, Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s drug is an oral CGRP receptor antagonist rather than an antibody. CGRP antagonists work by blocking the receptors of the protein. This group of drugs doesn’t appear to work quite as well as other migraine drugs already on the market, including Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s own Maxalt, but the CGRP antagonists don’t seem to have some of the serious side effects of these earlier drugs.

Not much information has been forthcoming as of yet on the MK-1602 testing. A phase 2b study wrapped up in late 2012, but the results have not been released.

And then some
Others are also at work on migraine treatments. Venture-capitalist-backed Alder Biopharmaceuticals has clinical studies under way for its CGRP-targeting antibody ALD403. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) counts a CGRP antagonist, BMS-927711, in its pipeline. However, Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) might sell the drug. No official announcement has been made by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) about the matter, though.

Even though millions of Americans suffer from migraines, don’t look for any of the larger companies mentioned to experience huge gains from successes with their development programs for migraine treatments. Financial services firm Cowen and Company estimates that the migraine drug market will actually decline from $1.6 billion in 2012 to only around $630 million in 2017, largely because of new generic entrants.

Investors might not be happy, but migraine sufferers could gain at least a little relief. If one or more of the newer drugs in development prove to be successful, better treatments could be on the way in the future. And even if not, patients will at least get a little financial relief with more lower-cost generic drugs on the market.

Even if you don’t suffer from migraines, there’s one subject that likely causes plenty of headaches for you: taxes. Tax increases that took effect at the beginning of 2013 affected nearly every American taxpayer. But with the right planning, you can take steps to take control of your taxes, potentially even lower your tax bill — and reduce those headaches.

The article 3 Companies Working to Make Your Migraines Milder originally appeared on Fool.com is written by Keith Speights.

Fool contributor Keith Speights has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.