U.S. Markets closed

Vanda says sleep drug met goal in clinical trial

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that its sleep disorder drug tasimelteon worked in another late-stage clinical trial.

Tasimelteon is designed to treat a rare disorder that affects people who are totally blind. The condition is called non-24-hour disorder, and it means patients can't synchronize their bodies with the 24-hour cycle because they can't detect light. Vanda said patients who took tasimelteon were able to stay on the 24-hour cycle, and did better than patients who took a placebo, in terms of sleep time, nap duration and timing of sleep.

Vanda said on Dec. 18 that the drug met its goals in a late-stage trial. The company's shares are up 27 percent since then, and they rose another 14 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $4.26 in afternoon trading Wednesday.

In the study, Vanda tested the drug on 20 patients. Those patients had been able to get their bodies on a 24-hour cycle during previous treatment with tasimelteon. The company said patients who kept taking the drug were better able to maintain their internal rhythms than patients who were switched to the placebo.

The company says between 65,000 and 95,000 people in the U.S. have non-24-hour disorder, and there are no approved drugs to treat the condition.