Sage Goes Skyward on Uplift from Test Results

Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SAGE) saw its shares skyrocketing Thursday on results from its latest tests of a medication to treat depression.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based Sage, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines to treat life-altering central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced positive top-line results from the Phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of SAGE-217 in the treatment of 89 adult patients with moderate to severe major depressive disorder (MDD).

In the trial, treatment for 14 days with SAGE-217 was associated with a statistically significant mean reduction in the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) 17-Item total score from baseline to Day 15 (the time of the primary endpoint) of 17.6 points for SAGE-217, compared to 10.7 for placebo

SAGE-217 was generally well-tolerated with no serious or severe adverse events; the most common adverse events (AEs) in the SAGE-217 group were headache, dizziness, nausea, and somnolence.
A low rate of discontinuations due to AEs was reported; overall reports of AEs were similar between drug (53%) and placebo (46%), with a safety profile consistent with that seen in earlier trials. SAGE-217 was granted Fast Track Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May

Sage CEO Jeff Jonas said, “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 shares climbed $65.80, or 71.6%, by the last hour of trading Thursday to $157.70.