Medicine
11:05 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Another Setback for Targacept

Winston-Salem based Targacept has been dealt another blow.

Credit ernes via Wikimedia Commons

The company announced yesterday that Phase 2b clinical trials of a drug intended to treat symptoms of schizophrenia have returned results that did not significantly differ from those of a placebo, after 24 weeks of trials. The biopharmaceutical company said that its TC-5619 compound also did nothing to improve key secondary measures of cognitive function.

Targacept's president and CEO Dr. Stephen Hill said in a statement, “The development of new and innovative treatments for patients suffering from central nervous system disorders is challenging, and the results of this study highlight the risks inherent in trying to address the unmet medical needs that remain in schizophrenia. While the results are disappointing, we believe the study was well conducted and provides a robust dataset upon which we have based our decision to not pursue further development of TC-5619 as a treatment for either schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s disease."

Hill said the company will focus its efforts on other Phase 2b compounds which are intended to treat overactive bladder and Alzheimer's, and continue with development of another drug for diabetic gastroparesis.

Targacept faced clinical trial failures with TC-5619 a year ago, which led to a substantial reduction of its workforce, and the resignation of then-CEO Don DeBethizy.