Clinical stage drug developer Targacept (NASDAQ:TRGT) lost $12.9 million in the third quarter, up from an $8.9 million loss in the same period in 2012.
The Winston-Salem company attributed the wider loss to a $3.9 million increase in R&D expenses. R&D spending in the quarter totaled $10.3 million, up from $6.4 million in the third quarter of 2012, as the company increased its spending for a phase IIb clinical study of TC-5214, an experimental treatment for overactive bladder. That trial started in the second quarter.
But R&D spending is actually down through the first three quarters of 2013. The decrease in 2013 compared to 2012 is due to Targacept’s decisions to refocus its work on its lead clinical programs, changes that followed the failure of a depression drug candidate last year in phase III clinical trials and the layoffs that followed the conclusion of that drug program.
Targacept, spun off from the research of tobacco giant R.J. Reynolds, develops potential treatments from compounds that have an effect on the body’s neuronal nicotinic receptors, or NNRs. The company does not yet have any Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs and reported no revenue for the third quarter compared to $768,000 in third quarter 2012 revenue. The change is due to the deferred revenue recognized last year from the company’s collaboration with AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN). The partnership on the failed depression drug candidate ended last year.
Besides TC-5214, Targacept is now focused on TC-5619, an experimental treatment for cognitive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia and TC-1734 for Alzheimer’s disease. The company expects to have initial clinical trial results for TC-5619 in December or January; initial results for the overactive bladdder and Alzheimer’s disease candidates could could follow later in 2014.