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Blind Adventurer, Erik Weihenmayer, Launches National Campaign to Raise Awareness of Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder

The Non-24 Share More Campaign aims to educate totally blind people living with the disorder and their families through its health and wellness podcast series

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VANDA) (NASDAQ: VNDA) today announced that it has partnered with Erik Weihenmayer, a world-renowned adventurer and the only blind person to climb Mount Everest, to support the Non-24 Share More Campaign and launch the expert podcast series available at Non-24.com. This national education initiative aims to raise awareness for Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (Non-24), a serious, chronic circadian rhythm disorder that affects up to 70 percent of people who are totally blind.[1]

"Most people know me for being an extreme adventurer, but what they may not know is that I have been diagnosed with a circadian rhythm disorder. My symptoms have led me to believe that I am one of the many totally blind Americans living with Non-24," said Erik Weihenmayer. "This disorder has challenged me both personally and professionally, but I have learned to manage my symptoms through the support of my family and physician. I hope that my story will empower those living with Non-24 to learn more about this disorder and speak with their physician."

The Non-24 Share More Campaign is a national initiative to educate the community on Non-24, a little understood and often misdiagnosed disorder.[2] The campaign includes an expert podcast series, featuring Erik's Non-24 story, as well as insights from physicians, life coaches and individuals living with this disorder. By tuning in to the podcast series, listeners can access helpful information on Non-24, tips for managing symptoms and advice on maintaining healthy relationships and being productive at work. New podcast segments will be available the last Tuesday of every month.   

"It is common for people who are totally blind to experience symptoms of nighttime sleeplessness and daytime sleepiness, which can impact productivity at work, personal relationships and overall functionality," said Dr. Michael Thorpy. "Our goal is to create a dialogue about Non-24 in the patient and physician communities given the frequency of misdiagnosis."

With today marking Rare Disease Day and Sunday kicking off National Sleep Awareness Week, this is the perfect time to learn more about Non-24, a rare disorder impacting the sleep-wake cycle.

To access the expert podcast series, please visit www.Non-24.com.

About Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder
Non-24 was first described more than 60 years ago, and is a chronic, circadian rhythm disorder resulting from the misalignment of the endogenous master body clock to the 24-hour day, disrupting the sleep-wake cycle. Non-24 affects the majority of totally blind individuals and it is estimated that approximately 80,000 Americans have the disorder.  For more information on Non-24, please visit www.Non-24.com.

About Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of products for the treatment of central nervous system disorders. For more on Vanda, please visit www.vandapharma.com.

Media Contact:
Laney Landsman
Assistant Vice President
(212) 508-9643
[email protected]

[1] Sack, R. L., & Lewy, A. J. (2001). Circadian rhythm sleep disorders: lessons from the blind. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 5(3), 189–206.

[2] Lockley SW, Arendt J, Skene DJ. Visual impairment and circadian rhythm disorders. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2007;9(3):301-14

SOURCE Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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