Is it possible that a pill will turn out to be a Sleep Apnea cure? Hard to fathom, but that's exactly what Cortex Pharaceuticals, Inc. of Irvine, Calif. has its sights set on with its new AMPAKINE CX1739 drug compound. Cortex says that animal studies have demonstrated that the AMPAKINE compound can stimulate the regions of the brain responsible for regulating breathing and muscle tone in the upper airway. The notion is that an increase in breathing and an improvement in upper airway muscle tone would reduce or eliminate apnea and hypopnea events.
In a huge win for the company, in January the UK's equivalent of the FDA gave Cortex permission to move forward with the clinical development of CX1739 in subjects with moderate to severe sleep apnea. The study will be conducted in a UK sleep lab, and will be double-blind and placebo-controlled with 20 participants.
Are the days of CPAP use numbered? Perhaps so. But I'm not holding my breath (pun intended).