Drug development firm Targacept (Nasdaq: TRGT) is cutting another 28 workers and will shut down its laboratory operations by year’s end.

The Winston-Salem based firm announced the latest in a series of cutbacks early Monday.

Recent failures in potential products, including one in September, have led to drastic cutbacks at the company, which for years has been one of the bright spots in North Carolina’s life sciences industry.

Targacept said the new cutbacks involved 38 percent of its remaining work force, cutting its total to 43.

“Targacept is implementing these measures to align its resources more closely with corporate objectives that include realizing the value potential of its clinical programs and conserving capital to best position the company for future opportunities,” the company said.,

“The reduction in force and changes to operations are expected to generate annual savings of approximately $9.6 million beginning in 2013.”

Targacept reported having $195 million in cash and investments as of Monday and estimated that its assets ”will be sufficient to fund its operating requirements through at least 2015.”


Last month, Targacept announced that compound TC-5619 failed in a phase 2 clinical trial. AstraZeneca chose not to license the compound from Targacept last year.

As a result of the failure, Targacept said it would drop further development of it. 

Targacept laid off much of its work force in April after a potential Alzheimer’s treatment failed, and its chief executive officer Don deBethizy resigned shortly thereafter.