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Vanda Sleep Disorder Drug Getting EU Incentives

From Associated Press (March 8, 2011)

ROCKVILLE, Md. -- Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that European Union regulators are giving special incentives to a drug Vanda is developing to treat a sleep disorder that affects blind people.

Vanda said its drug candidate tasimelteon received orphan drug status, which comes with potential tax incentives, reduced application fees, and potential grants and incentives. If the drug is approved, competing products could be barred from the market for up to 10 years. Orphan drug status is awarded to treatments for rare illnesses or for conditions that lack treatment options.

Tasimelteon is intended to treat a chronic sleep disorder in which patients can't synchronize their bodies with the 24 hour day. As a result, the company said they continually go to bed later and then wake up later. The condition occurs almost exclusively in people who are completely blind.

The Food and Drug Administration awarded orphan drug status to tasimelteon in January 2010. Vanda is conducting late-stage clinical trials of the product.

Shares of Vanda Pharmaceuticals have traded between $6.04 and $12.62 in the last year. In morning trading shares rose 12 cents to $7.37.

Posted: March 2011