Kappa Opioid Receptor Antagonists for Sleep Disorders

Case ID:

Researchers at UArizona have discovered that kappa opioid receptors influence sleep in mice struggling with chronic pain. In particular they found that a kappa opioid receptor antagonist could be beneficial for improvement of sleep related to pain conditions, as well as other conditions where increased kappa opioid receptor signaling has been observed. This second portion of related conditions includes depression, generalized anxiety disorder, alcoholism, and drug addiction. 


Disruption of sleep is a pertinent problem to patients who struggle with chronic pain. There is also the problem of a disruption of sleep, or lack of sleep in general, increasing pain for patients. Because treatment of pain typical ignores treatment of sleep, and vice-versa, treatments that improve both are lacking the market.



  • Treatment of sleep disorders, especially for people living with chronic pain
  • Could be used to treat other conditions, including:
    • Addiction (drugs/alcohol)
    • Depression
    • Generalized anxiety disorder



  • Seeks to help patients struggling with chronic conditions
    • The conditions are some of the most numerous which affect our current society
  • Is adaptable to treat different conditions
  • Deals with a problem that has yet to be addressed by other innovations
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Mitch Graffeo
Sr. Licensing Manager - COM-T
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Frank Porreca
Hisakatsu Ito
Edita Navratilova