Merck & Co., Inc.'s Recipe for Zzzzs in FDA's Hands Now
Published: Nov 09, 2012
Drugmaker Merck & Co. says the Food and Drug Administration is reviewing the company’s new drug application for suvorexant, its investigational insomnia medication. Merck researchers developed suvorexant to target and block orexins, chemical messengers that help to keep you awake. By temporarily blocking the actions of orexins, suvorexant helps to facilitate sleep. If approved, Merck said suvorexant would be the first in a new class of medicines, called orexin receptor antagonists, for use in patients with difficulty falling or staying asleep. Suvorexant minimizes the morning grogginess common with many sleep aids, according to the Associated Press. In studies, the drug’s most common side effects were tiredness and headache, the AP said. "The discovery and development of innovative medicines that help patients is our goal at Merck, and insomnia is a common disorder where patients are seeking new treatments," said Darryle D. Schoepp, senior vice president and franchise head for neuroscience and ophthalmology at Merck Research Laboratories.