Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Sumitomo Pharma Partner for Oral Narcolepsy Treatment


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Jazz Pharmaceuticals announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Sumitomo Pharma Co. to develop and commercialize an oral treatment for narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia and other sleep disorders.

According to a press release from Jazz, the treatment, originally dubbed DSP-0187 by Sumitomo, is a potent, highly selective oral orexin-2 receptor agonist. Sumitomo initiated a Phase 1 study in 2021 in Japan, which evaluated the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of DSP-0187 in healthy participants. Jazz plans to use these trial results to advance development of the molecule, which it has designated JZP441.

Source: Adobe Stock.

Source: Adobe Stock.

Healio spoke with Rob Iannone, MD, MSCEExecutive Vice President of Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Global Head of Research and Development, to learn more about JZP441 and its potential benefits for patients.

Healio: How does JZP441, formerly known as DSP-0187, work? and How are you benefit to the patients?

Rob Iannone

Iannota: Orexins are excitatory neuropeptides that play an important role in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness. Patients with narcolepsy type 1 have loss of orexin-producing neurons with orexin deficiency and impaired orexin signaling, and clinically these patients may present with disturbed nocturnal sleep, hallucinations, paralysis sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and cataplexy.

EDS and cataplexy are chronic disabling symptoms that significantly impact a patient’s ability to function normally during the day. In addition to narcolepsy type 1, there are other sleep disorders that have decreased slow wave (restorative) sleep and EDS.

JZP441 is an investigational compound that is a potent and highly selective orexin-2 receptor agonist designed to activate and restore impaired orexin signaling. Through this mechanism of action, JZP441 has the potential to exert wakefulness-promoting effects in individuals with EDS-associated sleep disorders. In addition to wakefulness-promoting effects, there is potential to impact other symptoms of narcolepsy such as cataplexy. Potential effects will be explored in patients with narcolepsy in our clinical program.

Healio: How will the treatment be administered?

Iannone: It will be administered as a daytime agent and could provide a novel complementary approach to oxybate therapy, which is administered at night.

Helio: How it works JZP441 to differ other treatments for sleep disorders?

Iannota: As a longtime leader in sleep medicine, Jazz provides therapy and support for patients with serious and debilitating sleep disorders. Orexin agonism is an evolving and exciting area of ​​sleep disorder research and is being studied as an approach that may be complementary to oxybate therapy.

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