Targacept acquires marketed drug to expand CNS development portfolio

Targacept acquires marketed drug to expand CNS development portfolio

Targacept Inc. of Winston-Salem has acquired the drug Inversine[R] from Layton Bioscience Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.

Mecamylamine HCI, the active ingredient in Inversine, is known to modulate nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, a property that Targacept believes holds promise for treating diseases of the central nervous system. Inversine is currently marketed for the management of moderately severe to severe essential hypertension and in uncomplicated cases of malignant hypertension.

Under the terms of the transaction, Targacept acquired Layton’s intellectual property, regulatory documentation, contracts and inventory related to Inversine. The deal also provides Targacept with exclusive worldwide rights to sell products that exploit patented technology of the University of South Florida relating to the use of mecamylamine HCI for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“From a strategic perspective, Inversine is an excellent fit for Targacept,” said J. Donald deBethizy, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Targacept. “Not only is Inversine a marketed product with an established safety profile in patients, it’s also a product that interacts with the body’s neuronal nicotinic receptors, which is Targacept’s area of particular expertise.”

Targacept plans to reformulate mecamylamine HCI for clinical testing in patients with various neuropsychiatric diseases and disorders. “With mecamylamine, we are eager to further demonstrate that neuronal nicotinic receptors play a pivotal role in addressing critical diseases of the central nervous system,” deBethizy said.

Merck & Co. (Nyse: MRK) of Whitehouse Station, N.J., introduced Inversine to the pharmaceutical market in 1956. Layton acquired Inversine from Merck in 1998.

For more information visit the company’s Web site at www.targacept.com.

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