Targacept lands $10M AZ payday for ADHD success

Targacept landed a $10 million milestone from AstraZeneca as the pharma company pursues plans to continue development of Targacept's ADHD therapy, which recently wrapped a successful mid-stage trial. And Targacept stands to gain more than $100 million for the program if it hits all regulatory and sales milestones. A Phase IIb trial is now being readied.

AZD3480 hit its primary endpoint in a mid-stage trial last May. And AstraZeneca confirmed plans to push ahead with AZD1446 for Alzheimer's disease. Currently in early-stage trials, Targacept also stands to gain milestones on the successful advancement of AZD1446. That was all music to the ears of investors, who pushed the company's shares up 21 percent on the news.

"We continue to be enthusiastic about neuronal nicotinic receptors as a promising new mechanism in the treatment of multiple cognitive disorders," said Bob Holland, AstraZeneca's vice president and head of the neuroscience therapy area. "We believe the therapeutic profile of AZD3480, a non-stimulant, may be an important advance for treating patients with ADHD and we also remain positive about the potential of NNR agonists to treat Alzheimer's disease."

It hasn't been all clear sailing for Targacept this year, though. Back in March GlaxoSmithKline dropped one of the pain drugs in their $1.5 billion pact after it failed a clinical trial.

- see the press release
- read the Reuters report