About Almorexant in Clinical Development
Almorexant is a first-in-class orexin receptor antagonist which has the potential to shift the paradigm for treating sleep disorders. It is an oral therapy that penetrates the blood-brain barrier and is capable of inducing a transient and reversible blockade of the orexin receptors. Orexins play an important role in maintaining wakefulness, and therefore regulate the sleep-wake-cycle. An orexin antagonist such as almorexant would thus be expected to induce sleep. Almorexant was discovered by scientists working for the Swiss company Actelion.
Actelion and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) entered into an exclusive worldwide (excluding Japan) collaboration in July 2008 to jointly develop and commercialise almorexant.
Current Status - Discontinued
In January 2001 Actelion and GSK announced that they were discontinuing the development of almorexant. The companies had already reported in 2009 that certain safety concerns were raised that required further study. Clearly, the safety profile of almorexant was not considered to be acceptable to justify further development.