Insomnia Treatment Without Daytime Sleepiness


This investigational dual orexin receptor antagonist improved sleep overnight and daytime functioning.

tired man


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted the new drug application (NDA) for Idorsia’s investigational dual orexin receptor antagonist, daridorexant, designed for the treatment of insomnia.

“I’m very happy that this first regulatory hurdle is behind us,” said Jean-Paul Clozel, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Idorsia. “This was a huge NDA and the team has done an excellent job in preparing the dossier, on which the FDA can judge the properties and merits of daridorexant. We now stand-by to work with the FDA to answer any questions that might arise concerning the effect of daridorexant on sleep, daytime functioning, and its safety profile.”1

Daridorexant targets overactive wakefulness associated with insomnia by blocking the activity of orexin, has a rapid onset, and lasts long enough to cover the night without any next-morning residual sleepiness. According to data from the phase 3 registration program, daridorexant is the first insomnia treatment to show statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in daytime functioning, sustained over time, as well as sleep during the night.

“While we designed daridorexant to have the optimal profile for a sleep medicine, I am none-the-less stunned by the results. Once approved, by providing daridorexant to the millions of patients with insomnia, Idorsia will have a major impact on this medical, social, and economic problem,” Clozel said. “It has struck me particularly in these times of confinement that we are living through, that sleep problems are a major issue and require an extremely safe and effective drug that can be used by the many. With these results Idorsia is entering into a new era; less than 3 years since its creation, Idorsia is taking a huge step forward in delivering on the vision to become a fully-fledged biopharmaceutical company.”2

Adverse events included headache, somnolence, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea, although the incidence of somnolence was low and did not increase with daridorexant 50 mg when compared with placebo.

Idorsia submitted the NDA on January 8, 2021 and anticipates a US launch in the first half of 2022, should approval be received.


1. Idorsia Pharmaceuticals. FDA accepts the new drug application for review of Idorsia’s daridorexant for the treatment of adult patients with insomnia. GlobeNewswire. March 10, 2021.

2. Idorsia Pharmaceuticals. Idorsia announces positive results in the first Phase 3 study of daridorexant with improved overall sleep and daytime performance of patients with insomnia. News release. April 20, 2020.

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