More Than Just a Headache: CGRP and Migraines


Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide, or CGRP, was first discovered in 1982 and is a 37-amino acid neuropeptide belonging to the same family as adrenomedullin, amylin, and calcitonin. Elevated blood levels of CGRP are found in individuals with pain from conditions such as arthritis, migraine, and chronic muscular pain.1 Recently, Amgen received approval for Aimovig (Erenumab), a monoclonal antibody antagonist of CGRP that is a once a month injection for the treatment and prevention of migraines.2,3 Migraines are a chronic neurological disorder that cause severe headache pain and other symptoms lasting anywhere from 4-72 hours and are a leading neurological disability. CGRP is a biomarker of migraines, as elevated levels are found during a migraine. Interestingly, CGRP levels are the highest in the 20 to 40-year-old age group, and this age group suffers the most migraines. In treating migraines, Eimovig binds to human CGRP receptors, blocking the receptor and preventing CGRP release. There are also currently several other monoclonal antibody antagonists of CGRP in clinical trials, with promising results. Besides the injectable monoclonal antibody therapies, Ubrogepant, a small-molecule oral drug, is an antagonist that selectively blocks CGRP responses and looks promising in Phase III clinical trials.3


  1. W.S. Schou, et al., The Journal of Headache and Pain, 18(1), 34 (2017).
  3. L. Edvinsson et al., Nature Reviews, 14, 338 (2018).
Industry News , Neuroscience

Denise Karounos

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Denise Karounos joined Peptides International in October 2016. After completing her BS in chemistry from West Virginia University, she spent time as an organic chemist at Bachem Bioscience synthesizing peptides and amino acid derivatives. Denise has experience with both solid and solution-phase peptide synthesis, and has worked under both research and cGMP settings. After completing her MBA from Saint Joseph’s University, Denise transitioned into product management of peptides and amino acid derivatives. In her marketing role, she had many duties including but not limited to product management, market research, creating and producing marketing materials, handling US catalog distribution and customer database, email marketing, quoting and inside sales, sales calls, and coordinating and attending trade conferences. 

At PI, Denise's duties encompass both sales and marketing, bringing to bear her extensive lab and sales support experience. Contact her today and see how Denise can assist you with your peptide research project.