Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc, New York, begins phase 1 clinical trials for ITI-722, a sleep maintenance insomnia treatment.

ITI-722, a derivative of the anti-psychotic compound ITI-007, are compounds that Intra-Cellular licensed from Bristol Myers Squibb. ITI-007 was also included in the trial.

"These programs have a novel combination of pharmacologic properties, that have the potential to define the future of antipsychotic drug therapy and treatment of sleep maintenance disorders," states Sharon Mates, PhD, the company’s chairman and CEO.

Due to the unique separation of D2 and 5HT2A receptor affinities, at low doses, ITI-722 acts primarily as a 5HT2A receptor antagonist. Additionally, its profile suggests the compound may be appropriate for the treatment of sleep disorders that accompany neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.