Purdue, Transcept Sign $145M Deal for Sleep Aid

sleepPurdue Pharmaceutical Products and Transcept Pharmaceuticals have signed a $145 million agreement to commercialize the sleep aid Intermezzo in the U.S. If approved, Intermezzo has the potential to be the first sleep aid to be used specifically when a patient wakes up in the middle of the night. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to rule on the drug by October 30.

Under the agreement, Purdue gains the right to market, sell, and distribute Intermezzo within the U.S., and to negotiate for the distribution of the product in Canada and Mexico. In return, Purdue will pay Transcept $25 million up front, plus another payment of $30 million if Intermezzo is approved. Transcept could earn another $90 million if Intermezzo hits certain milestones. The company retains the option to promote Intermezzo in the rest of the world and to co-promote it to psychiatrists within the U.S.

A new report published by Reportlinker found that approximately 30 percent of the world’s population suffers from conditions such as insomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea. People spent over $7 billion on sleep disorder drugs in 2008. That number is expected to increase between 2009 and 2024, according to the report. Drugs that alleviate insomnia or promote wakefulness will likely increase in use. Companies that are in this market, or looking to enter it, include:

LinguaFlex, which is developing a minimally invasive treatment for sleep apnea (a condition in which people stop breathing during sleep).

Pacific Sleep Medicine Services, which provides diagnostics and treatments for patients with sleep disorders.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of the narcolepsy drug Xyrem.

Restore Medical Incorporated, which has developed the first FDA-approved implantable treatment for sleep apnea.

Neurogen Corporation, which is developing a small-molecule drug treatment for insomnia.

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