Troubled Targacept whacks laboratory ops in latest restructuring

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A string of setbacks in the clinic and on the business front has forced troubled Targacept ($TRGT) to once again take out the budget ax. This time management aimed at the company's laboratory as execs cut back on the burn yet again to help conserve a considerable cache of cash.

Winston-Salem, NC-based Targacept says that once the lab is shuttered it will have cut back total staff to 43--a drop of nearly 100 since its lead depression drug, TC-5214, managed to fail a slate of four late-stage studies.

Targacept said back in the spring that it would lay off 65 staffers and its CEO departed soon afterwards.The bad news just keeps coming for Targacept. Just a few weeks ago the developer reported that its mid-stage study for an ADHD drug failed. And Targacept Chairman Mark Skaletsky wasted no time in raising the issue of fresh cuts. At the time he said that the company will "limit our investment in our nicotinic pipeline to our ongoing or previously announced clinical programs until the search for a new CEO is successfully completed."

The cutbacks leave Targacept with $195 million in the bank. In its release today the biotech reported that it had enough funds on hand to finance the company into 2015 as it continued its work modulating neuronal nicotinic receptors.

- here's the press release

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