Counting Sheep: Six Companies Influencing our Sleep in 2024

SLEEP 2024, this year’s joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society, was held in Houston, TX from June 1-5. The conference welcomed more than 5,000 attendees, including physicians, researchers and sleep medicine specialists from more than 50 countries, and presentations and discussions centered around advances in sleep research, diagnostics, therapeutics, devices and equipment for treating sleep disorders.

A lack of sleep is common in the United States, with an estimated 50–70 million Americans living with chronic sleep disorders. More than 100 million Americans report not getting enough sleep. The long-term effects of sleep deprivation – which include an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke – underscore the importance of a restful night’s sleep.

Researchers are tackling the numerous disorders that result in insufficient sleep, and a number of important updates came out of the SLEEP 2024 meeting. Sleep professionals discussed new guidelines on restless leg syndrome, which affects up to 10% of people in the US, or more than three million cases per year, breakthroughs in sleep apnea medications, a new therapeutic for narcolepsy, and the role of AI in diagnosing and treating sleep apnea.

PRISM MarketView took a look at six of the companies who presented at SLEEP 2024 that are working hard to improve our sleep:

 

Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA)

Vanda Pharmaceuticals made four presentations at SLEEP 2024 last week. The company developed HETLIOZ®, which was the first FDA approved treatment for non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder. Vanda is advancing HETLIOZ in the treatment of jet lag disorder, insomnia, delayed sleep phase disorder and pediatric use. It is approaching regulatory approval in jet lag disorder and has reached Phase 3 development in delayed sleep disorder and pediatric use. Vanda’s share price is $6.12 and its market cap is $356.17 million.

Zevra Pharmaceuticals (ZVRA)

Rare disease therapeutics company, Zevra Pharmaceuticals, announced positive final results from its Phase 2 clinical trial of KP1077 for idiopathic hypersomnia at SLEEP 2024. The company reported that KP1077 was well tolerated and showed meaningful clinical improvements in patient-reported assessments of daytime sleepiness, sleep inertia, and brain fog. Adrian Quartel, MD, FFPM, Chief Medical Officer of Zebra, said, “We are encouraged by the positive results of the Phase 2 clinical trial, which serve as further support of KP1077 as a strong candidate to treat patients struggling with idiopathic hypersomnia.” The company has been granted Orphan Drug Designation for KP1077 for the treatment of idiopathic hypersomnia by the  European Commission. Zevra’s share price stands at $4.65 and its market cap is currently $194.61 million.

NLS Pharmaceuticals (NLSP)

Swiss clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, NLS Pharmaceuticals, reported promising results from its preclinical study KO-874 evaluating the neuroprotective effects of mazindol on nocturnal activity in a rat model with narcoleptic-like symptoms induced by orexin-B-saporin (OX-B-SAP) lesions in the lateral hypothalamus (LH). “These data underscore our continued commitment to advancing our pipeline which has the potential to change the treatment paradigm for patients impacted by sleep and wakefulness disorders, and highlights the promise of mazindol to reduce the suffering of patients with narcolepsy,” said Eric Konofal, MD,PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of NLS Pharmaceutics. NLS’ share price is currently $0.12 and its market cap is $5.54 million.

Centessa Pharmaceuticals (CNTA)

In April 2024, Centessa announced it would initiate a Phase 1 first-in-human, clinical trial of ORX750 for the treatment of narcolepsy. ORX750 is an investigational, orally administered, highly potent and selective orexin receptor 2 (OX2R) agonist designed to directly target the underlying pathophysiology of orexin neuron loss in narcolepsy type 1 (NT1). The company said it would begin dosing in healthy volunteers imminently, and proof-of-concept data from the open-label study would be reported in the second half of the year. Centessa’s share price is $8.80 and its market cap stands at $994.78 million.

Harmony Biosciences (HRMY)

Harmony presented positive data from its Phase 2 signal detection study showing that pitolisant reduced excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and fatigue in adults with myotonic dystrophy Type 1 (DM1), the most common form of adult-onset muscular dystrophy, at SLEEP 2024. An estimated 40,000 people in the US are living with a DM1 diagnosis, and up to 90% report EDS and fatigue. Kumar Budur, M.D., M.S., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Harmony Biosciences, said, “The findings from our signal detection study evaluating pitolisant, which is believed to promote wakefulness through histamine, present an exciting opportunity to develop new treatments for EDS and fatigue in DM1, narcolepsy, and the other sleep/wake disorders we are investigating.” Harmony’s share price is $30.50 and its market cap stands at $1.73 billion.

Avadel Pharmaceuticals (AVDL)

Biopharmaceutical company, Avadel, delivered a number of presentations showcasing LUMRYZ, its FDA-approved narcolepsy treatment. Jennifer Gudeman, PharmD, Senior Vice President, Medical and Clinical Affairs of Avadel, said in a statement regarding SLEEP 2024, “Part of our presentations will underscore new patient preference findings from our RESTORE study, revealing that in addition to previously reported data which showed that 94% of patients who switched from a twice-nightly oxybate stated a preference for once-nightly dosing, 91% of study participants reported they were better able to sleep through the night with LUMRYZ, and 89% of participants would recommend LUMRYZ to a family or friend with narcolepsy.” Avadel’s share price is currently $15.13, and its market cap is $1.47 billion.

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Counting Sheep: Six Companies Influencing our Sleep in 2024

Catie Corcoran

Biotech Editor