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AstraZeneca, Targacept to develop, commercialize depression treatment


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca will work with U.S. drug maker Targacept to develop a new drug for treating major depressive disorder, Targacept announced Thursday.

Under the agreement, which could earn Targacept more than $1.2 billion, the two companies will develop and commercialize TC-5214, a drug that will soon enter phase 3 clinical trials.

AstraZeneca will make an upfront payment of $200 million to Targacept, which could also receive up to $1.04 billion in milestone payments. The late-stage clinical trials are expected to begin in mid-2010 with the goal of filing for regulatory approval with the Food and Drug Administration in 2012.

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