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ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Awarded Grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for the Development of Novel Nurr1-RXR Agonists to Treat Parkinson's Disease

SAN DIEGO, Nov 09, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- 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 that it has been awarded a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation (www.michaeljfox.org) for the development of novel Nurr1-RXR agonists for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The grant of $300,000 was awarded under the Foundation's Therapeutics Development Initiative aimed at supporting preclinical development of Parkinson's disease therapies that have the potential for fundamentally altering disease course and improving treatment of symptoms above and beyond current standards of care. This grant represents ACADIA's third award from The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

"Our mission is to advance the research with the greatest promise for improving the lives of patients with Parkinson's disease," said Todd Sherer, Ph.D., Vice President, Research Programs of The Michael J. Fox Foundation. "ACADIA's Nurr1 program may pave the way for a new Parkinson's disease treatment that has the potential to slow or stop disease progression -- something no currently available treatment can do."

Parkinson's disease results from a progressive loss of brain cells that produce dopaminergic neurons. Scientific evidence suggests that Nurr1, a nuclear hormone receptor, plays a critical role in the growth, maintenance, and survival of dopaminergic neurons. Scientists at ACADIA have discovered compounds that selectively activate Nurr1-RXR complexes and promote viability of dopamine-containing neurons. ACADIA researchers will examine the effects of Nurr1-RXR agonists in preclinical models of Parkinson's disease, focusing on neuroprotection, neuroregeneration, and motor performance.

"We are grateful for The Michael J. Fox Foundation's support of our Nurr1 program. The award recognizes the pioneering work we are pursuing to discover and develop a novel treatment for Parkinson's disease," said Uli Hacksell, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of ACADIA. "We are committed to bringing forward innovative therapies in this area of neurology and, in addition to preclinical programs addressing Nurr1 and ER-beta receptors for Parkinson's disease, we are pursuing a Phase III program with pimavanserin for Parkinson's disease psychosis."

About Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that is characterized by a number of symptoms including tremors, limb stiffness, slowness of movements, and difficulties with posture and balance. It is estimated that over 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from the disease. Parkinson's disease is more prevalent in people over 60 years of age, and the incidence of the disease is expected to increase as the average age of the population increases.

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 has a portfolio of four product candidates including pimavanserin, which is in Phase III clinical development as a treatment for Parkinson's disease psychosis. ACADIA also has a product candidate in Phase II for chronic pain and a product candidate in Phase I for glaucoma, both in collaboration with Allergan, as well as a product candidate in IND-track development for schizophrenia in collaboration with Meiji Seika Kaisha. All of the product candidates in ACADIA's pipeline emanate from discoveries made using its proprietary drug discovery platform. 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 e-mail alerts.

About The Michael J. Fox Foundation

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research was founded in 2000. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the development of a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda. The Foundation has funded over $213 million in research to date. For more information, visit www.michaeljfox.org.

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 development of new Parkinson's disease therapies, including Nurr1-RXR agonists, ER-beta and pimavanserin, the mission of The Michael J. Fox Foundation, ACADIA's anticipated preclinical testing of Nurr1-RXR agonists, the anticipated increasing prevalence of Parkinson's disease, the progress and timing of ACADIA's drug discovery and development programs either alone or with a partner, including clinical trials, and the potential of and the benefits to be derived from ACADIA's programs, in each case including the Nurr1 program. 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, including clinical trials, may not be indicative of future results, as well as risks relating to our funding requirements. 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, 2009 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.

SOURCE: ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.

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