Targacept Announces Changes to Board of Directors and Management

  Targacept Announces Changes to Board of Directors and Management

Business Wire

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- March 18, 2013

Targacept, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRGT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company
developing novel NNR Therapeutics (TM), today announced the following changes
to its Board of Directors:

  *M. James Barrett, Ph.D. and G. Steven Burrill have resigned their
    directorships, effective May 31, 2013. Dr. Barrett and Mr. Burrill first
    joined Targacept’s Board in 2002 and 2000, respectively, at the time of
    venture capital investments made in Targacept by their affiliated funds
    prior to Targacept’s initial public offering.
  *Ralph Snyderman, M.D. has decided not to stand for reelection and will
    retire from Targacept’s Board effective May 31, 2013. Dr. Snyderman, who
    has been a member of the Board since June 2007, has reached the retirement
    age set forth in Targacept’s Corporate Governance Guidelines.

These decisions did not arise from any disagreement on any matter relating to
Targacept’s operations, policies or practices. When the changes become
effective, Targacept’s Board of Directors will be comprised of seven members,
including Dr. Stephen A. Hill, Targacept’s President and Chief Executive
Officer, and six independent directors ─ Charles A. Blixt, Julia R. Brown,
Errol B. De Souza, Ph.D., Alan Dunton, M.D., John P. Richard and Mark
Skaletsky.

“On behalf of the Board, I’d like to thank Jim, Steve and Ralph for their
guidance and strategic oversight as Targacept has grown from an early-stage,
venture-funded enterprise to a mature, clinically focused organization,” said
Mark Skaletsky, Chairman of Targacept’s Board of Directors. “Their seasoned
leadership and expertise over the years has helped give Targacept a solid
foundation on which to continue to build.”

Targacept also announced that Jeffrey P. Brennan, Senior Vice President,
Business and Commercial Development and Chief Business Officer, will be
leaving the company as of March 31, 2013 to pursue other opportunities.

“I would like to personally thank Jeff for his contributions to the company.
Targacept has a promising future thanks in part to his efforts over the last
10 years,” said Dr. Stephen A. Hill, Targacept’s President and Chief Executive
Officer.

About Targacept

Targacept is developing a diverse pipeline of innovative NNR Therapeutics(TM)
for difficult-to-treat diseases and disorders of the nervous system. NNR
Therapeutics selectively modulate the activity of specific neuronal nicotinic
receptors, unique proteins that regulate vital biological functions that are
impaired in various disease states. Targacept’s clinical pipeline includes
multiple Phase 2 product candidates, all representing first-in-class
opportunities. Targacept leverages its scientific leadership diverse pipeline
to attract significant collaborations with global pharmaceutical companies.
For more information, please visit www.targacept.com.

TARGACEPT

Building Health, Restoring Independence®

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes “forward-looking statements” made under the
provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Forward-looking statements include statements, other than statements of
historical fact, regarding without limitation Targacept’s plans, expectations
or future operations, financial position, revenues, costs or expenses. Actual
results, performance or experience may differ materially from those expressed
or implied by any forward-looking statement as a result of various important
factors, including without limitation risks and uncertainties relating to: the
conduct and results of clinical trials and non-clinical studies and
assessments of TC-5619, TC-5214 and TC-1734, including the performance of
third parties engaged to execute such trials, studies and assessments, delays
resulting from any changes to the applicable protocols and difficulties or
delays in the completion of subject enrollment or data analysis; whether the
executive turnover and workforce reductions experienced by Targacept will have
an adverse impact on the development of any Targacept product candidate or
Targacept’s business generally; Targacept’s ability to establish additional
strategic alliances, collaborations or licensing or other comparable
arrangements on favorable terms; Targacept’s ability to protect its
intellectual property; and the timing and success of submission, acceptance
and approval of regulatory filings. Risks and uncertainties that Targacept
faces are described in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in
Targacept’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in other filings that
it makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a result of the risks
and uncertainties, the results or events indicated by the forward-looking
statements may not occur. Targacept cautions you not to place undue reliance
on any forward-looking statement.

In addition, any forward-looking statement in this press release represents
Targacept’s views only as of the date of this press release and should not be
relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Targacept
disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, except as
required by applicable law.

NNR Therapeutics™ and Building Health, Restoring Independence® are trademarks
or service marks of Targacept, Inc. Any other service marks, trademarks and
trade names appearing in this press release are the properties of their
respective owners.

Contact:

Targacept, Inc.
Alan Musso, SVP, Finance and Administration and CFO
336-480-2186
alan.musso@targacept.com
or
Linnden Communications
Michelle Linn, 508-362-3087
linnmich@comcast.net