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Targacept: Alzheimer's Drug Studies Will Continue

NEW YORK (AP)-Targacept Inc. said Thursday that its partner AstraZeneca PLC is preparing to run midstage clinical trials of an experimental Alzheimer's disease treatment that Targacept developed.

Targacept said AstraZeneca will study a combination of the drug, now called AZD1446, and Aricept, an older Alzheimer's disease drug, on patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. AZD1446 will be studied as an adjunct treatment, or a drug intended to make another drug more effective. Targacept and AstraZeneca have been collaborating since 2005.

Targacept is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., and AstraZeneca in London. The companies are also studying an adjunct depression treatment designated TC-5214. That drug has failed in two late-stage clinical trials, but they are running two other studies.

Shares of Targacept rose 10 cents to $5.72 in afternoon trading, while U.S. shares of AstraZeneca slipped 78 cents to $46.69.

Posted: January 2012