The bulk of Abilify's $2 billion-plus in sales in 2008 were for schizophrenia, but a Needham analyst estimates that $500 million in Abilify sales this year will come from the add-on anti-depressant market.
I spoke with Targacept CEO Don DeBethizy last night from Chicago. "The data are pretty amazing. I think people expected the
Targacept has been sharing these data with potential Big Pharma partners since July under confidentiality agreements, said DeBethizy, with the intent of signing a co-development deal for the drug soon.
The company would like to get a deal done then move on to start phase III studies of TC-5214 as add-on therapy for depression, he says."Two-thirds of depressed people do not achieve relief from an SSRI alone -- that's more than 9 million people," says DeBethizy, referring to the most common class of anti-depressants. "We believe that a well-tolerated drug like TC-5214 as add-on therapy will be a major breakthrough for these patients" Targacept shares closed Thursday at $20.09 in advance of the TC-5214 presentation last night at 6 p.m. EDT. -- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston