Targacept Announces Decision by AstraZeneca to Advance AZD1446 in Alzheimer’s Disease

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Targacept, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRGT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel NNR Therapeutics™, today announced that AstraZeneca has informed the company that it plans to progress the development of Targacept’s product candidate AZD1446 as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

AZD1446 is a selective modulator of the alpha4beta2 neuronal nicotinic receptor that arose out of a research collaboration conducted by Targacept and AstraZeneca. Under the terms of a 2005 collaborative research and license agreement, AstraZeneca is responsible for conducting and funding the development and potential commercialization of AZD1446. The next clinical trial of AZD1446 is expected to be a Phase 2 study as an adjunct treatment to donepezil in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

“AstraZeneca’s decision to invest further in the development of AZD1446 reflects well on the continued promise of the alpha4beta2 NNR mechanism in Alzheimer’s disease,” said J. Donald deBethizy, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Targacept. “The planned evaluation of AZD1446 as an augmentation treatment in Alzheimer’s disease complements Targacept’s ongoing Phase 2b study of AZD3480 as a monotherapy as we and AstraZeneca strive to provide an effective treatment for this major unmet medical need.”

About Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain’s nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. In 2010, there were an estimated 18 million people with Alzheimer’s disease in the world’s seven major pharmaceutical markets, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Japan (source: Decision Resources).

About Targacept

Targacept is developing a diverse pipeline of innovative NNR TherapeuticsTM for difficult-to-treat diseases and disorders of the nervous system. NNR Therapeutics selectively modulate the activity of specific neuronal nicotinic receptors, unique proteins that regulate vital biological functions that are impaired in various disease states. Targacept’s clinical pipeline includes five mid to late-stage product candidates, all representing first-in-class opportunities. Targacept leverages its scientific leadership and proprietary drug discovery platform PentadTM to generate novel small molecule product candidates to fuel its pipeline and attract significant collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies. For more information, please visit www.targacept.com.


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Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes “forward-looking statements” made under the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements other than statements of historical fact regarding, without limitation: the progress or scope of development of AZD1446, such as the target indication(s) for development or the design or stage of the next clinical trial; the medical benefits that may be derived from AZD1446; the competitive position of AZD1446 or the commercial opportunity in Alzheimer’s disease; or Targacept’s plans, expectations or future operations, financial position, revenues, costs or expenses. Actual results, performance or experience may differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement as a result of various important factors, including without limitation risks and uncertainties relating to: the control that AstraZeneca has over the development of AZD1446, including as to the timing, scope and design of any future clinical trials of AZD1446 and as to the conduct at all of further development of AZD1446; the conduct and results of clinical trials and non-clinical studies and assessments of AZD1446, including the performance of third parties engaged to execute such trials, studies and assessments, delays resulting from any changes to the applicable protocols and difficulties or delays in the completion of subject enrollment or data analysis; and the timing and success of submission, acceptance and approval of any regulatory filings for AZD1446. Risks and uncertainties that Targacept faces are described in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Targacept's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings that it makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of the risks and uncertainties, the results or events indicated by the forward-looking statements may not occur. Targacept cautions you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement.

In addition, any forward-looking statement in this press release represents Targacept’s views only as of the date of this press release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Targacept disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as required by applicable law.

NNR Therapeutics™, Pentad™ and Building Health, Restoring Independence® are trademarks or service marks of Targacept, Inc. Any other service marks, trademarks and trade names appearing in this press release are the properties of their respective owners.


Targacept, Inc.
Alan Musso, 336-480-2186
SVP, Finance and Administration and CFO
[email protected]
Linnden Communications
Michelle Linn, 508-362-3087
[email protected]

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