The market for insomnia drugs in the U.S. is growing at a whopping 29 percent per year, hitting $4.6 billion in 2006 and attracting the attention of a wide range of drug developers. More than a dozen compounds are in mid- to late-stage clinical trials in a race to capture a market that includes some 70 million Americans who suffer from chronic or occasional insomnia. Among the leaders in that race, according to analysts, are Somaxon and Neurocrine Biosciences, both of which are looking for near-term FDA approvals on late-stage drugs. Somaxon researchers believe that their therapy, which relies on an old antidepressant, will work by blocking the release of histamine at the H1 receptor in the brain.
- here's the report from BusinessWeekÂ