The litany of clinical trial disasters that has played out at Targacept over the past three years continues this morning with the news that its last remaining pipeline asset failed a Phase I/II study for diabetic gastroparesis. And as has happened so many times before, the biotech's share price took another nasty tumble, dropping 22%.
Six years after Catalyst Biosciences inked a $500 million-plus deal to develop Factor VIIa therapies for hemophilia, Pfizer is walking away from the pact it inherited from Wyeth. And now Targacept, which just struck a reverse merger pact to get Catalyst on to the public market, is considering the implications for their tie-up after the biotech's stock took a nasty dive as news of the breakup spread.
South San Francisco-based Catalyst Biosciences, which has kept a low profile in recent years, has jumped back into the spotlight with a reverse merger with Targacept, the beleaguered North Carolina biotech that suffered a long string of embarrassing failures in the clinic.
After 9 years of fruitless work on treatments for Alzheimer's disease and depression, AstraZeneca is dissolving its partnership with Targacept, leaving the battered biotech to pick up the pieces of its dwindling pipeline.
On Monday, Targacept reported that its midstage effort aimed at salvaging its lead drug flopped. Once partnered with AstraZeneca, which saw four late-stage studies for the one-time depression drug TC-5214 hopeful sour, Targacept says it's finally ready to dump the therapy after it failed in a Phase IIb study for overactive bladder.
Targacept kept the faith in its late-stage Alzheimer's disease drug after ex-partner AstraZeneca walked away from the treatment, but a new mid-stage failure has forced the biotech to pull the plug on TC-1734.
AstraZeneca is again turning its back on some projects developed alongside Targacept, handing back several preclinical assets but holding onto a once-promising Alzheimer's disease treatment that may have some use in another indication.
After a steady drumbeat of setbacks over the past two years, the Winston-Salem, NC-based biotech says it will tamp down the last spade of dirt on TC-5619 after the therapy--which already failed a study for ADHD--flunked the primary as well as secondary endpoints in a Phase IIb study for schizophrenia.
AstraZeneca has further culled the ranks of its experimental CNS meds. The London-based drug giant cut ties with two programs from its U.S. partner Targacept, including one compound in mid-stage development for mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer's disease, while gaining unfettered development options for a group of other Targacept candidates.
Welcome to this week's roundup of hirings and firings throughout the industry. Please send the good word (or the bad) from your shop to Alison Bryant (email | Twitter) and we will feature it...