Targacept says it will eliminate 65 jobs

Targacept says it will eliminate 65 jobs

April 27th, 2012 // 12:37 pm @

Drugmaker Targacept Inc. said Wednesday that it plans to eliminate 65 jobs, cutting its work force by almost half, as it looks for ways to save money after an experimental depression drug failed.

Targacept had 142 employees as of Feb. 29 and said it expects to save $12.9 million per year from the job cuts. The company said it is eliminating some jobs because it is focusing its resources of specific drug candidates in clinical and preclinical testing. It expects to report $2.4 million in restructuring and severance costs in 2012.

The company also said Chief Medical Officer Geoffrey Dunbar, who also is in charge of clinical development and regulatory affairs, will retire at the end of May. Targacept said Dunbar has been with the company for 11 years.

In March, Targacept and its partner AstraZeneca PLC ended development of a depression drug candidate called TC-5214 because the drug failed in clinical studies. In April it said a drug it was testing to treat asthma failed to meet one of its two goals in a clinical trial. Targacept had previously reported that the drug did not work as a treatment for diabetes.

Targacept said it will update its guidance when it reports its first-quarter results on May 3. The company said it has $220 million in cash and investments in marketable securities.

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