AstraZeneca buys Alzheimer’s drug rights

Anglo-Swedish drugs group AstraZeneca said on Wednesday it had agreed to pay up to 300 million dollars to US peer Targacept for the rights to help develop and market a drug to treat Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia.

AstraZeneca has signed an exclusive global licensing and research collaboration agreement regarding Targacept’s phase II compound, TC-1734, a statement said. Cognitive disorders are a core strategic area for AstraZeneca.

Under the four-year deal, AstraZeneca will obtain also the global rights for the development and commercialization of any compounds that arise out of the research collaboration.

As part of the agreement, AstraZeneca will initially pay Targacept 10 million dollars. Following successful commercialization of TC-1734, Targacept could receive about 300 million dollars from AstraZeneca in fees and royalties, the statement added.

“AstraZeneca is committed to developing innovative therapies in the areas of unmet need in Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia and other cognitive disorders,” said Bob Holland, AstraZeneca’s vice president of neuroscience.