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Targacept ends Alzheimer's drug trial after mid-stage failure

(Reuters) - Targacept Inc said it was ending a mid-stage trial on its Alzheimer's drug as it did not show superiority over standard medication, sending its shares down as much as 19.8 percent.

The drug, TC-1734, which was being tested against Pfizer Inc's donepezil, had earlier failed another mid-stage trial conducted by partner AstraZeneca Plc.

"Based on (today's) results, we do not intend to invest in further development of TC-1734," Targacept Chief Executive Stephen Hill said.

UK-based AstraZeneca returned rights to the drug in March but the companies continue to co-develop another Alzheimer's drug, AZD1446.

The latest failure marks another setback to Targacept's already thinning pipeline. In September, the company discontinued the development of its schizophrenia drug, TC-5619 after it failed a mid-stage study.

(Reporting By Amrutha Penumudi; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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