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Mar 5, 2013

Targacept and AZ Restructure Partnership as Success Proves Elusive

  • Long-time collaborators Targacept and AstraZeneca have rewritten some of the terms of their partnership.

    For starters, Targacept now has the right to pursue development and commercialization of any alpha7 NNR modulator in any therapeutic area, including cognitive disorders and schizophrenia, without obligation to AstraZeneca. Previously, AstraZeneca held an option to license any such compound that was developed by Targacept for a cognitive disorder or schizophrenia. Targacept has several alpha7 NNR modulators in its portfolio.

    In addition, AstraZeneca now has the right to develop and commercialize the alpha4beta2 NNR modulators that it has licensed from Targacept under the collaboration, including AZD1446, in any therapeutic area. Previously, AstraZeneca’s rights with regard to these compounds were limited to cognitive disorders and schizophrenia.

    Last year, AstraZeneca reported plans to advance AZD1446 as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. A Phase II study will evaluate AZD1446 as an adjunct treatment to donepezil in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

    Finally, as part of the deal restructuring, AstraZeneca will return to Targacept all rights to the alpha4beta2 modulator TC-1734 (also known as AZD3480), which is currently in a Phase IIb trial in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

    In 2009, AstraZeneca was pursuing development of AZD3480 in a Phase IIb studies in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and had made a $10 million milestone payment to Targacept.

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