Lemborexant, A Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonist (DORA) for the Treatment of Insomnia Disorder: Results From a Bayesian, Adaptive, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

J Clin Sleep Med. 2017 Nov 15;13(11):1289-1299. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.6800.


Study objectives: To identify dose(s) of lemborexant that maximize insomnia treatment efficacy while minimizing next-morning residual sleepiness and evaluate lemborexant effects on polysomnography (PSG) measures (sleep efficiency [SE], latency to persistent sleep [LPS], and wake after sleep onset [WASO]) at the beginning and end of treatment.

Methods: Adults and elderly subjects with insomnia disorder per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition were enrolled in a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Bayesian, adaptive, parallel-group study, receiving lemborexant (1, 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 25 mg) or placebo for 15 nights. Efficacy assessments included a utility function that combined efficacy (SE) and safety (residual morning sleepiness as measured by Karolinska Sleepiness Scale [KSS]), PSG measures, and sleep diary. Safety assessments included KSS, Digit Symbol Substitution Test, computerized reaction time tests, and adverse events (AEs).

Results: A total of 616 subjects were screened; 291 were randomized. Baseline characteristics were similar between lemborexant groups and placebo (∼63% female, median age: 49.0 years). The study was stopped for early success after the fifth interim analysis when the 15-mg dose met utility index/KSS criteria for success; 3 other doses also met the criteria. Compared with placebo, subjects showed significant improvements in SE, subjective SE, LPS, and subjective sleep onset latency at the beginning and end of treatment for lemborexant doses ≥ 5 mg (P < .05). WASO and subjective WASO showed numerically greater improvements for doses > 1 mg. AEs, mostly mild to moderate, included dose-related somnolence.

Conclusions: Lemborexant doses ranging from 2.5-10 mg provided efficacy for the treatment of insomnia while minimizing next-morning residual sleepiness.

Clinical trial registration: Title: A Multicenter, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Parallel-group, Bayesian Adaptive Randomization Design, Dose Response Study of the Efficacy of E2006 in Adults and Elderly Subjects With Chronic Insomnia; URL: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01995838; Identifier: NCT01995838.

Keywords: Bayesian method; insomnia; orexin receptor antagonists.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drugs, Investigational / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Drugs, Investigational
  • Orexin Receptor Antagonists

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01995838