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Targacept And AstraZeneca Amend Collaboration

About Targacept’s alpha7 NNR Therapeutics

Scientific evidence supports the alpha7 NNR as a potential target of interest in the treatment of various diseases and disorders. TC-5619, Targacept’s most advanced alpha7 NNR modulator, is currently in a Phase 2b clinical trial as a treatment for negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. Top-line results from this study are expected by the end of 2013. Targacept is also evaluating potential Phase 2 development of TC-5619 as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Beyond TC-5619, Targacept has several alpha7 NNR modulators in its chemical library. The most advanced of these compounds is the Phase 2-stage TC-6987, and Targacept is evaluating potential future development options for this product candidate.

About Targacept

Targacept is developing a diverse pipeline of innovative NNR Therapeutics(TM) for difficult-to-treat diseases and disorders of the nervous system. NNR Therapeutics selectively modulate the activity of specific neuronal nicotinic receptors, unique proteins that regulate vital biological functions that are impaired in various disease states. Targacept’s clinical pipeline includes multiple Phase 2 product candidates, all representing first-in-class opportunities. Targacept leverages its scientific leadership diverse pipeline to attract significant collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies. For more information, please visit www.targacept.com.

TARGACEPTBuilding Health, Restoring Independence®

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes “forward-looking statements” made under the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements, other than statements of historical fact, regarding without limitation: the timing for availability of top-line results from Targacept’s ongoing Phase 2b clinical trial of TC-5619; Targacept’s ongoing clinical trial of TC-1734 in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease or the continuation of the trial by Targacept; the potential medical benefits of compounds with alpha7 NNR mechanisms; or Targacept’s plans, expectations or future operations, financial position, revenues, costs or expenses. Actual results, performance or experience may differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statement as a result of various important factors, including without limitation risks and uncertainties relating to: the conduct and results of clinical trials and non-clinical studies and assessments of TC-1734, TC-5619 and TC-5214, including the performance of third parties engaged to execute such trials, studies and assessments, delays resulting from any changes to the applicable protocols and difficulties or delays in the completion of subject enrollment or data analysis; whether the executive turnover and two workforce reductions experienced by Targacept in 2012 will have an adverse impact on the development of any Targacept product candidate or Targacept’s business generally; Targacept’s ability to establish additional strategic alliances, collaborations or licensing or other comparable arrangements on favorable terms; Targacept’s ability to protect its intellectual property; and the timing and success of submission, acceptance and approval of regulatory filings. Risks and uncertainties that Targacept faces are described in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Targacept’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings that it makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of the risks and uncertainties, the results or events indicated by the forward-looking statements may not occur. Targacept cautions you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement.

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