[Ed. Note: Dr. KSS writes about medicine and biotech stocks for the Irregulars. He chooses his own topics, and his words and opinions are his own. You can see all of his articles archived here. Enjoy!]
CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, which recently moved from Durham, NC, to Cambridge, MA, plans an initial public offering. Recent news suggests the IPO was planned for 30 April 2015, but I can find no clear report that it was actually postponed. Shares will be listed as $CLCD, but are not yet trading.
CoLucid’s aim is to raise $75 million to fund a phase 3 trial of its first-in-class oral drug for migraine headaches, and if shares price at $14, market capitalization will begin at about $210M.
My colleague Michael Jorrin, “Doc Gumshoe,” reviewed migraine physiology for readers some months back. Although males occasionally get migraines, they tend to be the province of females. We think of them as vascular headaches specifically brought on by inappropriate vasodilatation of arteries inside the tightly- and carefully-packed head space. Triptan drugs seem to ease such headaches via their vasoconstrictive properties, although I have often found older fashioned approaches (I sometimes have patients take a large dose of ibuprofen, 25-50 mg of promethazine, and either drink a cup of coffee or eat dark chocolate, or both) to be superior to the triptans. For chronic sufferers, physicians sometimes try to prevent migraines with drugs such as older tricyclic antidepressants, (e.g., nortriptyline) or beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol). Data about how helpful this approach is, however, will not impress you.
Once during office hours, I had onset of symptoms that were pretty consistent with a migraine, and had many emotionally challenging patients to see that afternoon because of the extent to which hepatologists deal continuously with addicts. I unlocked the door to our drug sample room to see if any pharma representative had left samples of a triptan. I found some Maxalt (Merck $MRK) orally-disintegrating tablets and took one. The nausea and photophobia eased and within about an hour the headache was 50 percent gone. One of my nurses remarked that Maxalt was very expensive, that it would shock me. We called a nearby pharmacy: at the time, one 10 mg Maxalt tablet retailed for $34.
In a quick-and-dirty reckoning, what distinguishes migraine headaches from mere bad headaches is the presence also of photophobia and nausea. Neurologists at Johns Hopkins are ...
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