ACADIA Pharmaceuticals to Receive Funding from Fast Forward and EMD Serono for Multiple Sclerosis Program

  ACADIA Pharmaceuticals to Receive Funding from Fast Forward and EMD Serono
  for Multiple Sclerosis Program

   Award Will Advance ACADIA’s Selective ER-Beta Agonist as a Potential New
     Neuroprotective MS Therapy through Collaborative Research with UCLA

Business Wire

SAN DIEGO -- December 20, 2012

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD), a biopharmaceutical company
focused on innovative treatments that address unmet medical needs in
neurological and related central nervous system disorders, today announced
that it will receive funding from Fast Forward, LLC, a not-for-profit
organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and EMD
Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. This funding will
support ACADIA research, to be conducted in collaboration with Dr. Rhonda
Voskuhl of UCLA, directed at using AC-186, ACADIA’s proprietary and selective
estrogen receptor (ER)-beta agonist, as a new approach to the treatment of
multiple sclerosis (MS).

“We are grateful for the commitment by Fast Forward and EMD Serono, which will
enable us to expand on promising research in our ER-beta program and broaden
its application to MS,” said Uli Hacksell, Ph.D., ACADIA’s Chief Executive
Officer. “We also are excited to collaborate on this research with Dr.
Voskuhl, Professor and Program Director at the UCLA Department of Neurology,
who is a recognized expert in MS and neuroprotection.”

Currently, there are multiple immunology-based, disease-modifying drugs
approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS. In contrast, no drug is
currently approved for the treatment of progressive forms of MS and no
currently available drugs were developed to specifically target
neurodegeneration in MS. A new MS drug with neuroprotective properties would
fill this major unmet medical need. Studies in animal models of MS suggest
that selective ER-beta receptor agonists provide neuroprotective effects while
avoiding stimulation of ER-alpha receptors, which are believed to mediate
toxicity. In this new program, AC-186, a selective ER-beta agonist discovered
by ACADIA, will be evaluated to further test this hypothesis.

Fast Forward and EMD Serono will provide up to $545,000 to support preclinical
studies with AC-186 designed to further evaluate pharmacokinetics and its
therapeutic potential in preclinical models of MS. This funding will be
provided by the parties’ Accelerating Commercial Development Fund, which is
allocated to for-profit entities and is designed to accelerate the development
of research discoveries into new or improved therapies for people with MS.

“We are pleased to partner with ACADIA and UCLA on this innovative approach to
targeting MS neurodegeneration,” said Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Research
Officer at the National MS Society and Fast Forward. “This is another example
of our steadfast commitment to seek out and support promising new therapeutic
approaches that address critical unmet needs and could improve the lives of
patients with MS.”

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory condition of the central
nervous system and is the most common, non-traumatic, disabling neurological
disease in young adults. It is estimated that approximately two million people
have MS worldwide. While symptoms can vary, the most common symptoms of MS
include blurred vision, numbness or tingling in the limbs and problems with
strength and coordination. The relapsing forms of MS are the most common.

About Fast Forward, LLC

Fast Forward, LLC, established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as
part of a comprehensive approach to MS research and treatment, focuses on
speeding promising research discoveries towards commercial drug development.
Fast Forward accelerates the development of treatments for MS by connecting
university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and by
funding small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative new
MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS. For
more information, please visit www.fastforward.org.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The National MS Society addresses the challenges of each person affected by MS
by funding cutting-edge research, driving change through advocacy,
facilitating professional education, collaborating with MS organizations
around the world, and providing programs and services designed to help people
with MS and their families move their lives forward. The Society is dedicated
to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at
www.nationalMSsociety.org.

About ACADIA Pharmaceuticals

ACADIA is a biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative treatments that
address unmet medical needs in neurological and related central nervous system
disorders. ACADIA has a pipeline of product candidates led by pimavanserin,
which is in Phase III development as a potential first-in-class treatment for
Parkinson's disease psychosis. ACADIA also has clinical-stage programs for
chronic pain and glaucoma in collaboration with Allergan, Inc. and two
advanced preclinical programs directed at Parkinson’s disease and other
neurological disorders. All product candidates are small molecules that
emanate from discoveries made at ACADIA. ACADIA maintains a website at
www.acadia-pharm.com to which ACADIA regularly posts copies of its press
releases as well as additional information and through which interested
parties can subscribe to receive email alerts.

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, either alone or with a partner, the potential of and
the benefits to be derived from product candidates, in each case including
AC-186, and, specifically, the neuroprotective benefits of AC-186 for MS
patients, the expansion or broadening of ACADIA’s ER-beta program and the
monies to be received to support the development of AC-186. 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, and collaborations with others, and the
fact that past results of clinical trials may not be indicative of future
trial results. For a discussion of these and other factors, please refer to
ACADIA’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December31, 2011 as
well as ACADIA’s 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, except as required by law.

Contact:

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Uli Hacksell, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer
(858) 558-2871
 
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