June 28, 2006

Cypress stops development of sleep apnea treatment

BOSTON (Reuters) - Cypress Bioscience Inc. said on Tuesday
it is dropping development of its experimental drug to treat
sleep apnea after it failed to prove effective in a clinical

Cypress and Organon, a unit of Akzo Nobel, had each
independently conducted mid-stage, or Phase II, trials
evaluating combinations of the drug, mirtazapine, with another
approved drug.

Sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder which affects 15
to 20 million people in the United States and is characterized
by brief interruptions in breathing during sleep.

Cypress and a different partner -- Forest Laboratories Inc.
-- are developing a separate drug called milnacipran for the
treatment of fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by pain in
multiple parts of the body.

The drug failed to show a statistically significant benefit
in a late-stage trial for fibromyalgia but the companies are
continuing to study it for the disorder.

Milnacipran has been marketed outside of the United States
since 1997 as an antidepressant.

Cypress and Organon are exploring other opportunities for
collaboration, Cypress said.

(Additional reporting by Tuhin Kar in Bangalore)