Migraine sufferers could soon get a break from a seemingly unlikely source. Researchers at Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) are focusing on similarities between the way skin reacts to chili pepper oil and brain behavior during a migraine. They are developing a treatment for the sometimes-debilitating condition that blocks signals transmitted along nerves that carrying “pain messages,” Bloomberg notes.
Researchers have tested the new drugs, called biologics, by injecting them into patients with chili oil spread on their skin By preventing the transmission of the chemical messages, the treatment could stop migraines before the onset of symptoms. Two Amgen migraine drugs are currently in clinical trials.
Should the drugs win Food and Drug Administration approval, one analyst estimates they could generate $1 billion in sales for the company.
In the U.S., more than 36 million people experience migraines, which can lead to dizziness and nausea, in addition to head pain. However, few effective drugs exist to treat the condition.
Research into new migraine treatments was recently dropped by Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY).
Amgen shares climbed more than 1% in Monday afternoon trading.