In this clip of Industry Focus: Healthcare, Motley Fool analyst Kristine Harjes and contributor Todd Campbell talk about how Vanda Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:VNDA) came up with a potential cure for jet lag, what the company is working on now, and when we can expect to see results from studies. They will also examine how soon we might see the pills on shelves, and what it could mean for Vanda (and investors in the company).
A full transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on Dec. 28, 2015.
Kristine Harjes: Tell me a little more about the jet lag pill.
Todd Campbell: This is an interesting one, too, because I thought, "Really? A drug for jet lag? There's really something you can do so you feel like you're on the right sleep schedule? That seems weird to me."
But sure enough, there's a company out there called Vanda Pharmaceuticals, and they have a drug that's on the market already that's being used to help people who are blind adjust their sleep cycles to the 24-hour sleep cycle. If you're blind to the point where you can't sense any light, you have a very hard time, obviously, figuring out when you should be sleeping and when you should be awake.
So, they developed a drug called HETLIOZ, and I probably pronounced that completely wrong, to help to target that. And one of the things they discovered is, "Hey, if we use this in people who have jet lag, it helps them more quickly get on the right time zone, too." So, they've done a couple smaller studies, they're going to do one confirmatory study, a phase three study, that should begin soon. And they think they could have results from that study as early as 2017.
If so, that means that people who are world travelers may have a new option, maybe as early as 2018.
Harjes: That's crazy. Label expansion for you. I have to wonder how exactly that works. How do they know just how jet lagged you are? Because you don't want to over-compensate, you know?
Campbell: I know! Obviously, they're spending all sorts of time and energy researching it. They think this could be a huge product for them, because, according to the company, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, 100 million people per year are traveling more than five time zones. So, you figure, even if a small percentage of those people can benefit from this drug, then that could make a very strong seller. So, from an investor's perspective, you might want to keep an eye on Vanda Pharmaceuticals. It's risky, but it's interesting.