Technological innovations have revolutionized lifestyle, communication, business, travel, and healthcare. The healthcare technology industry is continually improving ways to treat neural-related medical conditions, coupled with a significant understanding of subsequent ramifications and consequences. On the other hand, the pharmaceutical landscape has also transitioned and opened itself to explore novel scientific approaches and innovative technologies within its core therapeutic areas.
New Pharmaceutical Innovations to Address Key Concerns for Sleep Medications
In the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (SLEEP 2018), Eisai Co., Ltd. and Purdue Pharma L.P showed positive results from clinical trials of lemborexant, which is currently being studied for the potential treatment of multiple sleep disorders, especially insomnia. On examining lemborexant for sleep onset, sleep maintenance, and return to sleep latency, it showed favorable results in terms of postural instability and residual effect compared to placebo and zolpidem (Ambien).
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- Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Natrol, LLC
- GlaxoSmithKline Plc.
- Sanofi SA
- Pfizer Inc.
- Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
- PERNIX Therapeutics
- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
- Merck & Co. Inc.
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A number of pharmaceutical companies are setting new breakthroughs in the sleep medications segment to cater to specific and unmet needs of insomnia patients. Such innovations are expected to help improve sleep through the night and also allow patients to function appropriately upon awakening, which has been a growing concern among older adults.
Smart Goggles, Wearable Tracking Devices, & Others Are Here to Stay
Multiple companies in the market are working on wearable devices for insomnia treatment, one of which is smart goggles; patients can now be wearing a pair of smart goggles to sleep off. Recent studies indicate that smart goggles use light and sound stimulations to trigger specific patterns in the brain that would eventually induce sleep. The light emitted by the goggles is of a certain wavelength that stimulates the hypothalamus gland within the brain. This leads to controlled secretion of melatonin, a hormone responsible for sleeping patterns.
Additionally, FDA-approved at-home and wearable tracking devices that monitor brain activity, leg movement, and breathing are becoming more common in the sleep research field. Another ‘chemical-free’ alternative is telehealth, which involves various ways to communicate with patients about their sleep health. Doctors and researchers are likely to focus on telehealth in near future.
In another research, scientists have discovered that certain cells in the brains of mice, expresses a gene called Lhx6, which promotes sleep. On activation, the Lhx6 gene induces sleep in mice; and awakened mice when deactivated. Moreover, a similar gene is also found in the human hypothalamus gland, and is anticipated to be potentially studied for sleep regulation. It is most likely that the compounds with similar properties as the Lhx6 gene will be incorporated with insomnia drugs, for enhance effectiveness.
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New Drug Formulations to Remain a Key Strategy among Pharmaceutical Industries
A recent study by Persistence Market Research indicates that OTC drugs contribute a maximum revenue share in the global insomnia treatment market, due to increasing preference among insomnia patients. To make insomnia treatment drugs more effective and occupy a greater share of revenue in the global market, the development of new drug formulations is foreseen to remain a key strategy among leading pharmaceutical industries.
Besides expanding geriatric population, some of the most common concerns such as dependency, addiction, and residual symptoms will further compel the requirement of transformed insomnia treatment market over the projection period, 2018-2026. The global market for insomnia treatment is expected to be valued at around US$ 7.5 Bn by 2026 end, witnessing steady expansion at 5.2% CAGR over 2018-2026.