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ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Announces Advancements in Two Preclinical Programs

SAN DIEGO, Feb 21, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- 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 nominated a non-steroidal and selective androgen receptor agonist, ACP-105, as a development candidate. ACADIA also announced that it has advanced its program based on the discovery of novel compounds that selectively block the cannabinoid CB1 receptor into preclinical status.

"We are excited about the opportunity to drive forward the development of ACP-105, our first clinical candidate to target a nuclear hormone receptor, and by the rapid advancement of our CB1 preclinical program," said Mark R. Brann, Ph.D., ACADIA's President and Chief Scientific Officer. "This is another demonstration of the strength of our drug discovery engine that has successfully generated four clinical programs, a deep portfolio of preclinical and discovery assets, and novel chemistries for more than 100 G-protein coupled and nuclear receptors."

ACP-105, a non-steroidal and selective androgen receptor agonist

ACP-105 selectively activates the androgen receptor and is considered to be a part of a class of small molecules referred to as SARMs, or selective androgen receptor modulators. SARMs may advance the standard of treatment for a wide variety of disorders including muscle-wasting conditions and osteoporosis, with improved tolerability and fewer side effects as compared to current treatments based on testosterone replacement. ACP-105 has reversed endocrine and bone-related markers of testosterone deficiency in preclinical animal testing, with little effect on the prostrate, thereby demonstrating tissue specificity in its actions. Additionally, ACP-105 has exhibited promising pharmacological properties and a favorable safety profile in preclinical testing. ACADIA has initiated development of ACP-105 and intends to conduct toxicology and other testing in preparation for potential clinical trials.

CB1 Program

ACADIA scientists have discovered structurally novel lead compounds that potently and selectively block the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. The CB1 receptor is predominantly expressed in the central nervous system and plays a key role in regulating appetite and other reward-based behaviors. Blockade of the CB1 receptors may lead to novel treatments for obesity and substance abuse. CB1 receptor antagonists may also be useful in the treatment of disorders associated with cognitive deficits. ACADIA is currently in an advanced stage of lead optimization with proprietary compounds that are potent and selective for the CB1 receptor, active following oral dosing in preclinical models, and well tolerated at high doses.

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 clinical trials, the safety and efficacy of ACADIA's drug candidates, and the benefits to be derived from ACADIA's technology, approach, and drug candidates, in each case, including ACP-105 and the compounds in the CB1 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, 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.

Contacts:
ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Lisa Barthelemy, Director, Investor Relations
Thomas Aasen, Chief Financial Officer
(858) 558-2871