Systemic Administration of Hypocretin-1

Tech ID: 29692 / UC Case 2000-282-0


UCLA researchers in the Department of Psychiatry have developed a treatment for sleep disorder via injection of highly excitatory neuropeptide hormone hypocretin-1.


Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that is characterized by excessive sleepiness, sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and sometimes cataplexy, a partial or total loss of muscle control due to loss of hypocretin in the brain. Current drug treatments for narcolepsy can improve symptoms by either aiming at daytime sleepiness (using dopamine agonists or modafinil) or cataplexy (using tricyclic antidepressants), but often result in drug side effects, residual sleepiness, and more cataplexy episodes. Thus, there is a need for an effective narcoleptic drug that targets the hypocretin-1 receptor in order to prevent cataplexy.


The invention provides a novel method for treatment of sleep disorders by targeting a hypocretin-1 receptor. The treatment entails administering to the patient a therapeutically effective dosage regime of an agonist of a hypocretin-1 receptor to a peripheral tissue of the patient. This is followed by close monitoring of responsiveness of the patient to treatment, wherein the monitoring indicates a reduction in excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and an improvement in nighttime sleep consolidation and architecture.


  • Prophylactic and therapeutic treatment of sleep disorders


  • Minimal side effects 
  • Significant cataplexy reduction 
  • Short and intermediate term effective

State Of Development

This treatment has been clinically tested on canines.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 7,335,640 02/26/2008 2000-282

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  • Siegel, Jerome M.

Other Information


hypocretin-1, sleep disorder, cataplexy, narcoleptic, agonist

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