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. doi: 10.1186/s10194-021-01351-2.


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 .

Keywords: CGRP; Chronic migraine; Episodic migraine; Fremanezumab; Older age.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders* / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • fremanezumab
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03308968
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02621931
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02629861