Sage Surges After Postpartum Drug Meets Goals in Small Trial

  • Stock up as much as 48%, highest level since January
  • Postive results in mid-stage trial for leading drug candidate

Sage Therapeutics Inc. surged to its highest price in more than six months after reporting positive results for its leading drug candidate in a mid-stage clinical trial for the treatment of severe postpartum depression.

The stock rose 40 percent to $47.12 at 9:44 a.m. in New York after gaining as much as 48 percent, the biggest intraday increase in two years.

In a small trial of 21 patients, the treatment met its main goal of a significant reduction in the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, or HAM-D, a questionnaire used by psychiatrists to measure the level of depression, compared with placebo. After 30 days, seven of the 10 patients taking the drug, Sage-547, and two of the 11 in the placebo group were in remission, Sage said Tuesday in a statement.

Sage-547 was generally well-tolerated, with no serious adverse events reported during the treatment and follow-up periods, the biotech company said. A greater number of adverse events were reported in the placebo group than in the treatment arm of the trial. There are no approved therapies specifically for postpartum depression and therapeutic options in severe cases are limited, Sage said.

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