This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Targacept Depression Drug Fails Late-Stage Study

WINSTON SALEM, N.C. ( TheStreet) -- Targacept (TRGT) and AstraZeneca (AZN - Get Report) said their experimental pill TC-5214 failed the first of four late-stage clinical trials in patients with severe depression.

Shares of Targacept, are indicated down 50% to $9.50 in pre-market trading. Likewise, Astrazeneca, which licensed TC-5214 from Targacept in 2009, fell almost 3% in London trading.

Targacept and AstraZeneca are studying TC-5214 as an add-on therapy for patients no longer responding to currently marketed antidepressants. In the phase III trial reported Tuesday, however, patients treated with TC-5214 plus an antidepressant showed no improvement on the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) compared to patients treated with a placebo plus an antidepressant, the companies said.

The MADRS scale measures depressive symptoms and is commonly used in clinical studies.

TC-5214 is Targacept's lead pipeline product so Tuesday's clinical trial failure is a major setback. Targacept and AstraZeneca provided few details in Tuesday's media announcement so its unclear what actually happened in the trial and what it means for the remaining three phase III studies still underway. Data from those studies are expected next year.

The companies are holding a conference call at 10 am ET to discuss the failed study.

The main phase II study of TC-5214 conducted in 2009 produced spectacular results. TC-5214's efficacy was so strong that some investors thought the data were too good to be true, especially because the study was conducted largely in India.

AstraZeneca believed in TC-5214 enough to license the drug from Targacept in late 2009 for blockbuster terms.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Adam Feuerstein.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.
Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for TheStreet. In keeping with company editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AZN $27.85 -0.89%
TRGT $1.46 3.55%
AAPL $92.50 -0.79%
FB $118.73 0.78%
GOOG $706.74 0.76%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,646.16 -14.55 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,046.02 -4.61 -0.22%
NASDAQ 4,700.6070 -16.4870 -0.35%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs