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Home Industry News Merck Sharp and Dohme reveals new insomnia drug

Merck Sharp and Dohme reveals new insomnia drug

22nd June 2006

Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) has revealed the latest results from phase II trials for gaboxadol, its new insomnia treatment developed in collaboration with Lundbeck.

The trial used computerised analysis to monitor brain activity for patterns associated with deep sleep, using an electroencephalogram. It showed that at four different doses, gaboxadol caused “significant increases” in deep sleep in patients with primary and transient insomnia.

In people with transient insomnia, ten and 15mg doses reportedly reduced the time it took to get to sleep in comparison with the placebo, although the 5mg dose did not register any significant effect. Patients also reported improvements in the overall time spent sleeping, the amount of time spent awake following sleep onset and the number of times they woke up throughout the night.

Although drug safety was not one of the trial end points, MSD reported that the drug was “generally well tolerated”.

Lundbeck UK’s Dr Stephen Deacon, lead investigator and head of clinical development of sleep disorders, said: “These data showed that gaboxadol consistently increased the intensity of, and time spent in, deep or restorative sleep.”

“The research helps to support gaboxadol’s potential as a new and different treatment for insomnia,” he added.

According to BUPA, almost a quarter of the population frequently experience sleeping difficulties. There is no single cause for insomnia, although lifestyle, environment, stress and some medications are thought to contribute.

Although there are some effective sedative antihistamines available for the treatment of insomnia, they could cause a hangover-like effect, BUPA says.

track© Adfero Ltd

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