Jazz Pharmaceuticals has announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with Sumitomo Pharma Co. for the development and commercialization of an oral treatment for narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia and other sleep disorders.
According to a press release from Jazz, the treatment, originally named DSP-0187 by Sumitomo, is a potent, highly selective orexin-2 receptor agonist. Sumitomo initiated a Phase 1 study in Japan in 2021, evaluating the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of DSP-0187 in healthy participants. Jazz plans to use these research results to advance the development of the molecule it named JZP441.
Healio spoke to Rob Iannone, MD, MSCEJazz Pharmaceuticals executive vice president 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 will it be? benefit patients†
Ianna: Orexins are excitatory neuropeptides that play an important role in the regulation of sleep and wakefulness. Patients with type 1 narcolepsy have loss of orexin-producing neurons with orexin deficiency and impaired orexin signaling, and clinically these patients may present with disrupted nighttime sleep, hallucinations, sleep paralysis, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), and cataplexy.
The EDS and cataplexy are chronic debilitating symptoms that significantly affect patients’ ability to function normally during the day. In addition to type 1 narcolepsy, there are other sleep disorders with impaired slow (restorative) sleep and EDS.
JZP441 is an investigational compound that is a potent, 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 wake-promoting effects in people with sleep disorders associated with EDS. In addition to its wake-promoting effects, there is the potential to influence other symptoms of narcolepsy, such as cataplexy. The potential effects will be investigated in patients with narcolepsy in our clinical program.
Healio: How is the treatment given?
Iannone: It will be administered as a daytime agent and may provide a new complementary approach to oxybate therapy, which is administered at night.
healio: How works? JZP441 differ of other treatments for sleep disorders?
Ianna: As a long-time leader in sleep medicine, Jazz provides therapies and support to patients with severe, debilitating sleep disorders. Orexin agonism is an evolving and exciting area of sleep disorder research and is being studied as an approach that may complement oxybate therapy.