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Title:  Use of valproic acid analog for the treatment and prevention of migraine and affective illness

United States Patent:  6,268,396

Inventors:  Nau; Heinz (Hannover, DE); Leahy; Emer (Tarrytown, NY); O'Connell; Alan (Babylon, NY)

Assignee:  American Biogenetic Sciences, Inc. (Copiague, NY)

Appl. No.:  337986

Filed:  June 22, 1999


This invention relates to a method for the treatment and prevention of migraine and affective illness by administering a therapeutically effective amount of the valproic acid analog 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid. The compound 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid is an effective anti-migraine and anti-affective illness drug with greatly reduced adverse effects including neurotoxicity and teratogenic potential compared to valproic acid. This invention thus provides an improved method for treating and preventing migraine and affective illness.


This invention relates to the use of the valproic acid analog 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid as a treatment and prevention for migraine and affective illness.

This invention provides a method of treating and preventing migraine or affective illness in individuals by administering 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid. The synthesis and desirable metabolic properties of 2-n-propyl4-hexynoic acid are fully disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,786,380 (Examples 7-8 and 10-11) which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Mammals, and in particular humans, who would benefit from this method of treatment include those exhibiting, or at risk for exhibiting, any type of recurring headaches, especially vascular headaches and those which are moderate or severe. Individuals suffering from migraine are expected to benefit from administration of 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid. The method of the invention comprises administering to an individual a therapeutically effective amount of 2-propyl-4-hexynoic acid which is sufficient to reduce or prevent migraine or affective illness.

In contrast to valproic acid, the compound for use with this invention exhibits greatly reduced adverse effects and teratogenicity, and has a longer duration of activity.

The data presented here show that like valproic acid, 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid is expected to be effective against amygdala kindled seizures. Furthermore, it exhibits adverse effects only at the highest dose tested and those effects are much milder compared to that of valproic acid. Therefore, 2-propyl-4-hexynoic acid provides an improved method for the treatment and prevention of migraine and affective illness.

The compound 2-propyl-4-hexynoic acid is effective for the treatment of acute mania with bipolar disorder. Typical manic symptoms include pressure of speech, motor hyperactivity, reduced need for sleep, flight of ideas, grandiosity, poor judgement, aggressiveness, and possible hostility.

The compound 2-propyl-4-hexynoic acid is also effective for the prevention and treatment of migraine headaches.

It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the compound 2-propyl-4-hexynoic acid for use with this invention may exist in enantiomeric forms. Pure enantiomers may be resolved from the racemate by methods well known in the art. Alternatively, enantiomeric forms may be prepared by chiral synthesis. Individual R and S enantiomers, racemates and non-racemic mixtures of enantiomers of 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid are all within the scope of this invention. When the individual enantiomers are used, the S enantiomer of 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid is preferred if one needs to take advantage of the apparent higher pharmacokinetic profile of the S enantiomer. However, if maximal avoidance of teratogenic side effects is required, then the R enantiomer is the preferred form.

The dose of the compound used in the treatment of such disease will vary in the usual way with the seriousness of the disorder, the weight and metabolic health of the sufferer. The preferred initial dose for the general patient population will be determined by routine dose-ranging studies, as are conducted for example during clinical trials. Therapeutically effective doses for individual patients may be determined by titrating the amount of drug given to the individual to arrive at the desired therapeutic or prophylactic effect while minimizing side effects. Dosages may be similar to those used with valproic acid, however, they may be adjusted appropriately, based on the potencies and kinetic parameters disclosed herein or as determined by routine methods. A preferred initial dose for this compound, may be estimated to be between about 1 and 60 mg/kg/day, more preferably between 10-20 mg/kg/day. The preferred plasma concentration for patients taking 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid is between 50-100 ug/ml.

Administration of the compounds of this invention may be by any method used for administering therapeutics, such as for example oral, parenteral, intravenous, intramuscular, subcutaneous, or rectal administration.

This invention also provides pharmaceutical compositions for the treatment of migraine. In addition to comprising the compound 2-n-propyl-hexynoic acid or a salt or pro-drug thereof, the pharmaceutical composition may also comprise additives such as preservatives, excipients, fillers, wetting agents, binders, disintegrants, buffers, and/or carriers. Suitable additives may be for example magnesium and calcium carbonates, carboxymethylcellulose, starches, sugars, gums, magnesium or calcium stearate, coloring or flavoring agents, and the like. There exists a wide variety of pharmaceutically acceptable additives for pharmaceutical dosage forms, and selection of appropriate additives is a routine matter for those skilled in art of pharmaceutical formulation.

The compositions may be in the form of tablets, capsules, powders, granules, lozenges, suppositories, reconstitutable powders, or liquid preparations such as oral or sterile parenteral solutions or suspensions.

In order to obtain consistency of administration it is preferred that a composition of the invention is in the form of a unit dose. Unit dose forms for oral administration may be tablets, capsules, and the like, and may contain conventional excipients such as binding agents, for example syrup, acacia, gelatin, sorbitol, tragacanth, or polyvinylpyrrolidone; and carriers or fillers, for example lactose, sugar, maize-starch, calcium phosphate, sorbitol or glycine. Additives may include disintegrants, for example starch, polyvinylpyrrolidone, sodium starch glycolate or microcrystalline cellulose; preservatives, and pharmaceutically acceptable wetting agents such as sodium lauryl sulphate.

In addition to unit dose forms, multi-dosage forms are also contemplated to be within the scope of the invention. Delayed-release compositions, for example those prepared by employing slow-release coatings, micro-encapsulation, and/or slowly-dissolving polymer carriers, will also be apparent to those skilled in the art, and are contemplated to be within the scope of the invention.

The solid oral compositions may be prepared by conventional methods of blending, filling, tabletting or the like. Repeated blending operations may be used to distribute the active agent throughout those compositions employing large quantities of fillers. Such operations are conventional in the art. The tablets may be coated according to methods well known in normal pharmaceutical practice, for example with an enteric coating.

Oral liquid preparations may be in the form of, for example, emulsions, syrups, or elixirs, or may be presented as a dry product for reconstitution with water or other suitable vehicle before use. Such liquid preparations may contain conventional additives such as suspending agents, for example sorbitol syrup, methyl cellulose, gelatin, hydroxyethylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, aluminum stearate gel, and hydrogenated edible fats; emulsifying agents, for example lecithin, sorbitan monooleate, or acacia; non-aqueous vehicles (which may include edible oils), for example almond oil or fractionated coconut oil, oily esters such as esters of glycerine, propylene glycol, or ethyl alcohol; preservatives, for example methyl or propyl p-hydroxybenzoate or sorbic acid; and if desired conventional flavoring or coloring agents.

For parenteral administration, fluid unit dosage forms are prepared utilizing the compound and a sterile vehicle, and, depending on the concentration used, can be either suspended or dissolved in the vehicle. In preparing solutions the compound can be dissolved in water or saline for injection and filter sterilized before filling into a suitable vial or ampoule and sealing. Advantageously, additives such as a local anaesthetic, preservative and buffering agent can be dissolved in the vehicle. Suitable buffering agents are, for example, phosphate and citrate salts. To enhance the stability, the composition can be frozen after filling into the vial and the water removed under vacuum. Parenteral suspensions are prepared in substantially the same manner, except that the compound is suspended in the vehicle instead or being dissolved, and sterilization cannot be accomplished by filtration. The compound can be sterilized by conventional means, for example by exposure to radiation or ethylene oxide, before being suspended in the sterile vehicle. Advantageously, a surfactant or wetting agent is included in the composition to facilitate uniform distribution of the compound.

Claim 1 of 10 Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A method of treating and/or preventing migraine in a mammal, comprising administering to said mammal a therapeutically effective amount of 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid or a pharmaceutically compatible salt thereof, wherein the form of the 2-n-propyl-4-hexynoic acid is chosen from the racemate, a single enantiomer, or a non-racemic mixture of enantiomers.

If you want to learn more about this patent, please go directly to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site to access the full patent.



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