U.S. FDA approves Vanda's circadian rhythm drug Hetlioz

Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:15pm EST

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(Reuters) - Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Friday that U.S. health regulators have approved its experimental drug to regulate the internal body clocks of blind patients and help normalize sleep patterns.

The drug, Hetlioz, is designed to treat Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder, or Non-24, a condition that is common among the totally blind, which can cause disrupted nighttime sleep patterns and excessive daytime sleepiness.

Vanda's shares rose 8.1 percent to $14.15 in afternoon trading after initially rising as high as $15.59 on the news.

(Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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