Paris-based Theranexus, a biopharmaceutical company in the clinical trial stages of its lead project, has announced the publication of an article in Sleep that it says validates the preclinical results obtained for its product THN102 in the treatment of narcolepsy.

THN102 is a combination of two products already administered to humans but never at the same time, flecainide (an antiarrhythmic agent used in this instance at very low dosages and for its modulating effects on the glial connexins) and modafinil, an established wakefulness-promoting agent.

The Sleep article describes the pharmacological properties of the product THN102 and presents data regarding its mechanism of action. These preclinical results, obtained from models relating to the disease, have made it possible to prove that in comparison with the reference agent, modafinil, the combination proposed by Theranexus presents superior results on criteria regarding wakefulness, cognition and a reduction in the number of episodes of sudden onset of sleep.

“This first publication in a journal such as Sleep constitutes real recognition by our peers of the interest of THN102 in the fight against somnolence. This is a great opportunity to demonstrate how the connexins, small proteins involved in the communication between cells, are a new and particularly interesting target to improve the profile of modafinil” says Mathieu Charvériat, scientific director of Theranexus, in a release.

Yves Dauvilliers, of the National Narcolepsy Reference Centre and co-author of the study, says, “Theranexus’ innovation and the preclinical results obtained are very encouraging, and once confirmed in humans, could provide real hope for the improved treatment of narcolepsy.”

“Alongside this publication, we have also completed our first clinical study on the effectiveness of THN102 (phase Ib) for which the results will be released between now and Summer 2016,” says Franck Mouthon, president of Theranexus. “I am delighted to announce that the product is currently entering phase II for administration to patients suffering with narcolepsy.”