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Dec 11, 2008

SkyePharma Achieves Milestone in Sleep-Maintenance Collaboration with Somnus

  • SkyePharma received its first milestone fee totaling $1 million under its partnership with Somnus Therapeutics for the completion of the Phase I trial.  SKP-1041 is a controlled-release sleep maintenance product.

    Under the terms of the agreement inked in 2007, SkyePharma received $4 million upfront and could earn another $10 million as certain development goals are achieved. The company is also entitled to $20 million in sales-related milestone payments.

    SkyePharma is responsible for formulation and manufacturing, while Somnus will develop and commercialize the product. SKP-1041 is a new version of zaleplon, which is marketed under the brand name Sonata. The formulation uses SkyePharma's Geoclock™ technology for controlled release. It is designed to treat people who have difficulty maintaining sleep but not sleep onset and is intended to prevent middle-of-the-night awakening while avoiding daytime drowsiness.

    “We believe SKP-1041 could generate very significant sales growth for SkyePharma,” comments Ken Cunningham, M.D., CEO of SkyePharma. “The sleep maintenance market is large but poorly served and there is a clear need for a product which through controlled-release allows early deep sleep and maintains sleep through the night with no cognitive impairment or daytime drowsiness.”



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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