→ Actelion spinout Idorsia says it scored positive data from two Phase II studies of a new sleep drug called ACT-541468. Investigators say that they designed this drug with two key features in mind: keep people asleep through the night with few lingering side effects after they wake up. They tested the drug in 418 patients, reporting on top-line results. And now the company plans to move into Phase III. “I am delighted to see that the positive readouts from this comprehensive Phase 2 program are consistent with our preclinical predictive models, for both adult and elderly patients with insomnia,” said CSO Martine Clozel.
→ France’s Servier has taken an option on an osteoarthritis drug discovered at Galapagos. Servier gets global rights outside the US in the deal, paying a €6 million license fee and committing to €290 million in milestones. The mechanism of action of GLPG1972/S201086 targets a cartilage degrading enzyme called ADAMTS-5.
→ Prominent UK investor Neil Woodford took up the case in favor of AstraZeneca this week. After the MYSTIC fail damaged the pharma giant’s shares, Woodford — like CEO Pascal Soriot — insisted there are plenty of reasons to believe that AstraZeneca can succeed.