Drug trial news hurts Targacept, not AZ

Following news that Targacept's experimental nicotine drug, AZD3480, was ineffective in schizophrenia patients, AstraZeneca shares fell more than 1 percent yesterday, but Targacept shares dropped almost 40 percent.

Apparently, news of the AstraZeneca's planned diabetes collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. provided the insurance it needed to take the hit, while Targacept was not so lucky.

Following the partnership announcement by the AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb, which will include an expansion into Japan, AstraZeneca shares rose 5 percent. AstraZeneca agreed to work with Bristol-Myers Squibb to help develop and market its drug, Dapagliflozin...a deal that AstraZeneca hopes will bring in an additional $1 billion.  The companies first collaborated at the start of 2007. The new deal represents an expansion of that partnership. 

Despite Targacept's failure to show success with Alzheimer disease previously and now with schizophrenia, AstraZeneca isn't giving up on it yet. "While this trial outcome did not meet our objectives," said Bob Holland, head of the Neuroscience Therapy Area at AstraZeneca," we continue to pursue medicines that target neuronal nicotinic receptors with Targacept to treat cognitive disorders,"

- read more at Forbes.com
- see what Crain's Manchester Business said