Amgen Trumpets FDA Nod

Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN) won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval on Thursday for the first drug to prevent migraine headaches in adults.

The drug, Aimovig, which is given monthly by self-injection, will have a list price of $6,900 a year, or $575 a month, the company said. Any discounts or rebates will depend on negotiations with health plans, an Amgen spokeswoman said.

Aimovig is the first in a new class of treatments designed to prevent migraine by interfering with calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which is involved in the processes that kick off a migraine, such as dilation of blood vessels in the brain.

Companies including Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (NYSE: TEVA) and Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE: LLY) are developing similar treatments.

In studies of patients with chronic and episodic migraines, Aimovig was proven to reduce headache days and use of other acute migraine medications significantly

Some Wall Street analysts had expected Amgen to price Aimovig as high as $10,000 a year.

Analysts, on average, have forecast annual Aimovig sales of nearly $1 billion by 2022.

Amgen, which will market Aimovig in partnership with Novartis (NYSE: NVS), said the drug's price "reflects the value it brings to patients and society." The company said it will pay most out-of-pocket costs for eligible patients with commercial insurance.

Amgen shares began Friday up $1.36 to $176.01