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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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