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.”