Sage Therapeutics stock pops on depression P2 results

pharmafile | December 8, 2017 | News story | Medical Communications, Research and Development Sage Therapeutics, biotech, drugs, pharma, pharmaceutical 

Sage Therapeutics’ stock rocketed after it announced that Phase 2 results for its treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) were positive, sending the price of shares up 64%.

The news comes not long after it also scored success in Phase 3 results on its postpartum depression study, though the results were not quite as pronounced as in MDD.

The data revealed that in a clinical trial of 89 adults patients with moderate to severe MDD, after 14 days of treatment patients showed a clear 6.9 point improvement on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression against those treated with placebo.

Improvement stayed consistently higher against placebo through to the two week mark, though the difference dropped to a fraction less than four points. At the six week mark, placebo and treatment with Sage-217 were only separated by two points.

However, the initial boost was seen as strong enough outcomes to instigate a huge uptake of Sage shares. In all likelihood this is because current treatments in the depression area slow to have an impact, whereas Sage’s candidate was able to show a significant difference in just over two weeks.

“These very encouraging data suggest the potential of SAGE-217 in the treatment of MDD as well as other mood-related disorders that we may pursue,” said Jeff Jonas, CEO of Sage Therapeutics. “There has been little innovation in the discovery and development of treatments for depression in the last two decades. Coupled with our recent positive Phase 3 data read-out evaluating brexanolone for the treatment of postpartum depression, the findings in this study suggest our pipeline of proprietary GABAA modulators may impact novel and fundamental brain mechanisms, offering potential development opportunities in a variety of indications.”

The two sets of results for Sage represent a remarkable turnaround for a biotech that suffered what could have been a knockout blow when its treatment for postpartum depression conclusively failed to show potential as a treatment for a severe form of epilepsy.

After that event, its shares dropped by 25% to $66 but now sit at a price of $162, a remarkable rise.

Ben Hargreaves

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