The Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology Laboratory  

Preclinical Drug Evaluations

New Opportunities for the Pharmaceutical Industry

About 100 million Americans each year complain of disturbed sleep. Many different pathophysiologiocal/etiologoical mechanisms for these sleep disorders have been recognized, and the International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD) lists 81 different types of disorders under 8 main categories. These sleep-related problems are often chronic and negatively affect the subject's quality of life. In a 24-hour society that encourages sleep deprivation, daytime sleepiness is also an emerging issue even in healthy subjects. Accidents (e.g., Chernobyl nuclear accident, Three Mile Island accident, Bophal Chemical Spill, Exxon Valdes accident) due to sleepiness are now well recognized as a major public hazard. There has never been a greater need for the development of pharmacological therapeutics for sleep-wake disorders. Indeed, the affected population that would benefit from sleep-wake therapeutics is dramatically increasing world-wide.

At Stanford University, we have established a team of research scientists and technical specialists who are dedicated to fostering joint academic-industrial research ventures in pharmaceutical research and development. We have also assembled the most technologically advanced research equipment and computer system to assay drug effects on sleep-wakefulness in laboratory animals. The large scale of our drug screening facility greatly accelerates the process of pre-clinical drug evaluation and provides simultaneous quantitative measures of sleep and wakefulness, body temperature, motor activity and other behavioral variables useful in selecting compounds for clinical trial.

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Advantages of using the SCN lab sleep assay to screen novel compounds:

Situations ideal for using the SCN lab sleep assay to record EEG sleep:

Major uses for hypnotics include:

The SCN lab sleep bioassay system is also routinely used to assess:

Some Major Classes of Hypnotics

The following receptor-systems are thought to be involved in promoting sleep: The SCORE/SCN lab sleep assay system has been used to assess a very wide variety of "standard" hypnotics and stimulants, which are readily available for comparison with new compounds.

Stimulants and Novel Wake-promoting Therapeutics

With growing interest in developing pharmacological treatments for inappropriately timed excessive daytime sleepiness (e.g., narcolepsy, shift-work, jet-lag). SCORE has been used to assess a number of psychomotor stimulants as well as novel non-stimulant wake-promoting therapeutics. Some of these include



Seiji Nishino, M.D., Ph.D. and Stanford University, 2011
All Rights Reserved.

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