GSK cancels $1.5B Targacept pact

Following its decision to end all neuroscience research, GlaxoSmithKline has canceled its $1.5 billion dollar deal with Targacept. First inked in 2007, the deal covered a group of experimental NNR-targeted therapies for development of treatments for pain, smoking cessation, addiction, obesity and Parkinson's disease, according to the release. Targacept gained $35 million up front and made a total of $45 million over the course of the deal.

“Our alliance with GlaxoSmithKline provided us with substantial funding at a key time in Targacept’s evolution, helping us stay at the forefront of NNR research and grow our pipeline of novel product candidates with diverse NNR pharmacologies,” said Targacept CEO J. Donald deBethizy. “While we are disappointed that we will be no longer working with our colleagues at GlaxoSmithKline, we are energized to have increased flexibility to apply our resources where emerging science dictates. Our programs in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders and in smoking cessation remain of great interest to us, and we look forward to continued progress in these areas of high unmet medical need.” Targacept regains full rights to its programs subject to the alliance, including compounds discovered or advanced as part of the alliance.

Despite the setback, Targacept can still count on cash from it's $1.2 billion deal with AstraZeneca. The developer recently received a $200 million milestone payment from the Big Pharma for progress on TC-5214, a drug for major depressive disorder.

- here's Targacept's release
- read this report for more