TRGT Reports Negative TC-5619 Results; Tax Selling May Pressure Through Year End

Targacept (NASDAQ:TRGT) announced Monday morning that its Phase II trial for TC-5619 in the treatment of inattentive-predominant attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHDi) did not meet its primary endpoint. Based on the trial results, patients on placebo consistently improved more than patients on TC-5619, when evaluating the change from baseline on the inattention subscale of the Conners’ Adult ADHD Rating Scale-Investigator-Rated (CAARS-INV) after four weeks of treatment. As a result, the company stated that it will discontinue development of the compound in ADHD, and said, “Under these circumstances, we are taking additional steps to more closely align our resources with our current operational plan and emphasize the efficient use of Targacept’s capital.” The company will now implement a further reduction in headcount, and focus resources only on its pipeline of neuronal nicotinic receptor (NNR) compounds, like TC-5619, while continuing the search for a new CEO. The next major clinical catalyst for the company is for TC-5619 Phase II results in the treatment of schizophrenia, expected in mid-2013. With roughly $156.5M in cash and equivalents ($4.65 per share) as of the end of June, the shares are likely to remain in the $4.00 range, although tax selling makes sense given no real reason to own the stock through year-end.