December 15, 2005 General News

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Discovers Novel Isoform-Selective Retinoic Acid Receptor Agonists

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ACAD), a biopharmaceutical company utilizing innovative technology to fuel drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments for central nervous system disorders, today announced publication of research, in both the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and in Biochemical Pharmacology, that reports ACADIA’s discovery of novel isoform-selective retinoic acid receptor (RAR) agonists and a highly effective hit-to-lead optimization providing RARb2 agonists with drug-like properties. The published compounds may serve as pharmacological tools to further explore nuclear receptor pharmacology and may provide a starting point for drug development efforts.

“The discovery of novel isoform-selective RAR agonists demonstrates the high quality and broad applicability of ACADIA’s drug discovery engine,” said Mark Brann, Ph.D., ACADIA’s President and Chief Scientific Officer. “We will continue to leverage our proprietary assay technology to augment our pipeline of drug candidates to treat CNS disorders and other areas of unmet medical need.”

The Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (vol. 48, pgs. 7517-7519) and the Biochemical Pharmacology (vol. 71, pgs. 156-162) articles describe research conducted by ACADIA scientists that led to the discovery of novel isoform-selective RARb2 agonists. An ultra high-throughput screen of RAR subtypes was performed using ACADIA’s proprietary R-SAT(R) technology. Although the initial hit did not display drug-like properties and previously had been studied only in the context of liquid crystal technology, ACADIA scientists succeeded in optimizing the structure of the agonists into small molecules with retained potency, selectivity, and favorable drug-like properties. In initial pharmacological studies, these novel selective agonists showed cellular effects consistent with a retinoid-like mode of action.

About Retinoic Acid Receptor Agonists

RARs belong to the steroid family of nuclear hormone receptors. Multiple subtypes are known and isoforms of each of the RAR subtypes have been described. Drugs targeting RARs have been developed to treat a variety of therapeutic indications such as acne, psoriasis, and cancer, but their success has been limited due to the prevalence of acute and chronic side effects caused by lack of selectivity. In addition, RARb selective agonists may have a potential use for treatment of CNS disorders.

About ACADIA Pharmaceuticals

ACADIA is a biopharmaceutical company utilizing innovative technology to fuel drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments for central nervous system disorders. ACADIA currently has four drug programs in clinical development as well as a portfolio of preclinical and discovery assets directed at large unmet medical needs, including schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, neuropathic pain, and glaucoma. All of the drug candidates in ACADIA’s product pipeline emanate from discoveries made using its proprietary drug discovery platform. ACADIA’s corporate headquarters is located in San Diego, California and it maintains research and development operations in both San Diego and Malmo, Sweden.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements include but are not limited to statements related to the progress and timing of ACADIA’s drug discovery and development programs and related trials, the safety and efficacy of ACADIA’s development candidates, and the potential benefits to be derived from ACADIA’s technology and development candidates, in each case, including RAR agonists. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks and uncertainties inherent in drug discovery, development and commercialization, collaborations with others, and litigation. For a discussion of these and other factors, please refer to ACADIA’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004 filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and ACADIA undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Lisa Barthelemy, Director, Investor Relations
Thomas H. Aasen, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(858) 558-2871

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