Recent findings on the cause of narcolepsy provide a new route to develop drugs to treat the condition. But the identification of the role of a hypocretin gene in the disorder has not yet drawn a map leading to new therapeutics, and poses no immediate threat to Cephalon Inc.'s Provigil modafinil, one of the few approved treatments for narcolepsy.

Nevertheless, Matthew Miller, senior director of pharmacology at CEPH (West Chester, Penn.), said that the hypocretin discovery is "the most exciting development in the history of the study