Another Alzheimer’s disease candidate has crashed and burned joining a long line of recent failures.

This time it was Targacept’s TC-1734 that bit the dust, having failed to nail its targets in mid-stage clinical trials.

The US group said the drug missed its primary endpoint of superiority over Pfizer/Eisai’s number one AD therapy Aricept (donepezil), and it remains unclear whether other goals were met in the Phase II study.

Its failure to outshine the current standard of care will be particularly disappointing to Targacept since it stuck by its drug even after AstraZeneca cut ties with its development earlier this year.

Now chief executive Stephen Hill is saying that, based on the data, the firm does not intend to “invest in further development of TC-1734”.