WINSTON SALEM, N.C.—GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and TargaceptInc., recently announced a strategic alliance to discover, develop and marketnovel therapeutics that selectively target specified neuronal nicotinicreceptors (NNRs). The alliance includes Targacept's lead product candidates forpain: TC-2696, which is currently in a Phase II trial for acute post-operativepain, and TC-6499, a preclinical product candidate that is currently plannedfor development for neuropathic pain. Targacept has retained an option toco-promote TC-2696 and TC-6499 for pain to specialists and hospital-basedphysicians in the United States.
The deal leverages Targacept's more than 20 years of focusedresearch in the NNR field, and also provides GSK with access to other discoveryprograms across five therapeutic focus areas. In addition to pain, the othertherapeutic focus areas of the alliance are smoking cessation, obesity,addiction, and Parkinson's disease.
Under the terms of theagreement, GSK will make an initial upfront payment of $35.0 million toTargacept, which includes an investment of $15.0 million for the purchase of1,275,502 shares of Targacept common stock. In addition, Targacept is eligibleto receive up to $1.5 billion in payments from GSK, contingent on theachievement of specified discovery, development, regulatory and commercialmilestones, as well as tiered double-digit royalties dependent on salesachieved.
"The breadth of this alliance validates the importance ofNNRs in the potential treatment of a broad range of CNS-related disorders anddiseases," said J. Donald deBethizy, Ph.D., president and CEO of Targacept."This uniquely structured deal enables us to accelerate the progression of ourpipeline, capitalize on our discovery and development expertise, and leveragethe resources of a premier global pharmaceutical company while retainingconsiderable value. The alliance also aligns with our business strategy toprogress our pipeline through human proof of concept and partner selectivelyfor late-stage development and commercialization in primary care fields."