Results of a new study find that almorexant—an orexin receptor antagonist in
clinical development as a potential new treatment for insomnia—significantly
improved the primary parameter of sleep efficiency and was not associated
with any relevant negative effects on next-day performance.
The treatment, discovered by researchers at Actelion Pharmaceuticals in
2003, is an oral therapy that penetrates the blood-brain barrier and is
capable of inducing a transient and reversible blockade of the orexin
Commenting on the findings, principal author Jasper Dingemanse, PhD, and
head of clinical pharmacology at Actelion, said, “These findings confirm the
pivotal role of the highly specific orexin system in controlling the
sleep-wake cycle. These data indicate that almorexant assists patients in
falling and staying asleep in a non-sedative fashion, while at the same time
not exhibiting any negative effects on next-day performance, as is commonly
observed with traditional sleep medications targeting benzodiazepine
More information about almorexant can be found at