Issue Date: December 7, 2009
AstraZeneca Licenses Depression Therapy
AstraZeneca has licensed rights to Targacept’s TC-5214, a small-molecule treatment for major depressive disorder. TC-5214 is believed to treat depression by modulating the activity of neuronal nicotinic receptors. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca will pay Targacept $200 million and make milestone payments of as much as $540 million. The companies plan a Phase II trial of the drug as a front-line treatment and a Phase III trial for patients who do not respond to traditional therapies. Targacept, which specializes in the chemistry of nicotine, started life as a subsidiary of R. J. Reynolds Tobacco.
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