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Targacept Inc. said Wednesday its potential schizophrenia drug met a key goal of improving cognition in patients in a midstage study.

The study involved patients with stable psychotic symptoms who were taking other anti-psychotic medications. The 185-person study then compared results from patients also taking either the drug candidate TC-5619 or placebo.

Targacept said full results from the study will be released at a future scientific meeting.

The company's partner, AstraZeneca, has the right to license the drug candidate under a 2005 agreement. Under the deal, Targacept would receive a $30 million upfront payment and AstraZeneca would fund development and commercialization of the drug. Targacept would be eligible to receive additional payments of up to $212 million, based on the achievement of development, regulatory, and other milestones, along with royalties on sales. AstraZeneca, based in London, is expected to make a decision on the drug in the first half of the year.

Shares of Targacept fell 13 cents to $27.19 in morning trading.

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