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ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Expands Technology Platform to Target Tyrosine Kinase Linked Receptors

Novel Assay Technologies Highlighted at Molecular Pharmacology Gordon Conference and ASCO Annual Meeting 2005

SAN DIEGO, May 17, 2005 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- 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 (CNS) disorders, today reported on the development of assay technologies for a major class of drug targets, tyrosine kinase linked receptors (RTKs). This important gene family has been demonstrated to play a significant role in the development of many disease states, including CNS disorders and cancer.

In a poster presentation at the Molecular Pharmacology Gordon Conference in Il Ciocco, Italy, May 8-13, ACADIA highlighted a novel application of BRET (Bioluminescence Resonance Energy Transfer) technology used to measure the interaction of RTKs with several signaling proteins. This assay technology allowed ACADIA scientists to define the biology of mutant forms of the epidermal growth factor receptor that have been associated with lung cancer. ACADIA scientists have found that these mutations induce constitutive signaling through several proteins. Iressa and Tarceva, two drugs used to treat cancer, block this constitutive signaling with potencies that are dependent on the signaling protein and the specific mutation.

In an abstract at the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Annual Meeting 2005 in Orlando, Florida, May 13-17, ACADIA described the application of its proprietary assay technology known as R-SAT(R) (Receptor Selection and Amplification Technology) to the development of high throughput assays for the majority of known RTKs. While R-SAT has the capability of identifying activators and inhibitors of RTKs, a key feature of the assay technology is its ability to identify compounds that block constitutive signaling of RTKs.

"In addition to focusing on G-protein coupled receptors and nuclear receptors, we have now expanded our technology platform to include RTKs. This will allow us to further strengthen our drug discovery capabilities and systematically search for novel small molecule therapeutics for these targets," said Mark R. Brann, Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of ACADIA. "Importantly, our novel assay technology allows us to more precisely define the mechanism of action of drugs targeting the RTKs. Our work with Iressa and Tarceva provides a good example, where we have improved the understanding of the treatment of lung cancer by studying the signals of mutant forms of an RTK. We will apply this technology to further our drug discovery efforts to treat CNS disorders and other areas of unmet medical need."

About ACADIA Pharmaceuticals

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company utilizing innovative technology to fuel drug discovery and clinical development of novel treatments for CNS 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. Using its proprietary drug discovery platform, ACADIA has discovered all of the drug candidates in its product pipeline. ACADIA's corporate headquarters is located in San Diego, California and it maintains research and development operations in both San Diego and Scandinavia.

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, the benefits to be derived from ACADIA's technology, and ACADIA's future discoveries, capabilities or results. 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. 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, including ACADIA's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2005. 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 H. Aasen, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
(858) 558-2871