Milestone is part of a $1.5 billion pact to advance drugs that target specified NNRs.

Targacept initiated a Phase I trial of TC-6499, triggering a $6 million milestone payment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). This early-stage small molecule is being  initially developed as a treatment for neuropathic pain.

In July, GSK and Targacept entered a partnership worth over $1.5 billion for novel therapeutics that selectively target specified neuronal nicotinic receptors (NNRs). The advancement of TC-6499 marks the first reported milestone. Targacept is eligible to receive an additional milestone fee if the company determines to advance TC-6499 into Phase II.

TC-6499 was discovered using Targacept’s drug design technology known as Pentad™. “TC-6499 represents the third Pentad-enabled product candidate that we have advanced into the clinic this year, demonstrating the strength of Pentad, our ability to execute our operating plans successfully, and the breadth and pharmacological diversity of our pipeline of NNR Therapeutics,” comments J. Donald deBethizy, Ph.D., Targacept’s president and CEO.

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