People news: Targacept, Shire and Appature

Targacept president and CEO J. Donald deBethizy is resigning from the company “for personal considerations” amid a series of pipeline setbacks. A search for a new CEO is underway, said the company, and a separate Office of the Chairman is being established under board chair Mark Skaletsky. Targacept specializes in neuronal nicotinic receptor drugs, but has seen candidates for depression, diabetes and asthma falter or fail over the past year.

Shire director of integrated marketing Bob Harrell is leaving the pharma for a Seattle-based software-as-a-service startup, Appature, which offers a CRM platform for healthcare marketers. Harrell has spent two decades in the drug and healthcare advertising industries, and has worked at Shire since 2004. “Bob has always had a keen sense of where the industry is heading and how technology can be applied to the commercial aspects of our business,” said Shire chairman Matt Emmens.