GSK, Actelion partner on insomnia drug


GSK, Actelion partner on insomnia drug GlaxoSmithKline and Actelion will work together to develop an Actelion insomnia drug in phase III testing, the two companies announced Monday.

The drug, almorexant, has potential to be the first in its class as a treatment for primary insomnia. The collaboration between the London-based GSK and Switzerland-based Actelion could lead to the development of other, similar drugs, the companies said.

As part of the collaboration, GSK will give Actelion an up-front payment of $148.6 million, as well as milestone payments up to $411.3 million contingent on the successful development and approval of almorexant as a primary insomnia treatment. Approvals of almorexant for treating other illnesses could lead to milestone payments of up to $2.71 billion.

“Almorexant has the potential to fundamentally change the treatment of sleep disorders,” Actelion chief executive officer Dr. Jean-Paul Clozel said. “GSK, with its strong track record of successful worldwide commercialization, is the ideal partner to work with Actelion to rapidly bring this novel medicine … to insomnia patients all around the globe.”

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