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SAGE Therapeutics skyrockets as second depression drug in as many months aces mid-stage trial

Sage’s SAGE-217 drug was statistically significant in reducing the symptoms of major depressive disorder compared to a placebo
depressed woman
The company looks set to add the best of US$2.5bn to its market value on the back of the results

Shares in SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:SAGE) skyrocketed in premarket trading on Thursday after the biotech’s depression drug aced a mid-stage trial.

In a statement, the Massachusetts-based group said 64% of patients taking its SAGE-217 drug saw their major depressive disorder (MDD) go into remission within 15 days of treatment.

Patients were assessed on a scale that rated the severity of their depression symptoms such as mood, feelings of guilt, suicidal thoughts and insomnia.

Shares gained 79.9% to US$165.30 in premarket trade on Thursday, leaving the firm on course to add around US$2.5bn to its market value.

“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, Sage’s chief executive.

“The positive activity and safety findings of SAGE-217 in MDD support advancing the program into later stage clinical development and we will work with the FDA to determine next steps in the further development of SAGE-217.”

It’s Sage’s second success in as many months. Back in November the company said its brexanolone postpartum depression drug met its main goal in two late-stage studies, pacing the way for the first FDA-approved treatment for the disorder.

According to Reuters, Sage won’t seek to partner with another company for the phase III trial.

In the regular session, shares added over 76% to US$162.22 each.

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