Shares of SAGE Therapeutics(SAGE) - Get Report jumped after the company reported data from its SAGE-547 clinical trial for the treatment of severe postpartum depression. Leerink analyst Paul Matteis sees the announcement as the "best-case scenario" for the company, with his peer at Roth Capital also viewing the news as a positive for SAGE's partner Ligand(LGND) - Get Report , which is entitled to receive royalties on future sales of the drug.
PHASE 2 RESULTS: SAGE announced today positive top-line results from its Phase 2 clinical trial of SAGE-547 for the treatment of severe postpartum depression, or PPD. SAGE-547 achieved the primary endpoint of a significant reduction in the Hamilton Depression Scale, or HAM-D, score compared to placebo at 60 hours. This represented a greater than 20 point mean reduction in the depression scores of the SAGE-547 group at the primary endpoint of 60 hours with a greater than 12 point difference from placebo. The statistically significant difference in treatment effect began at 24 hours, with an effect that was maintained at similar magnitude through to the 30-day follow-up.
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: Following SAGE-547's results announcement, Leerink's Matteis said that the rapid onset of the improvement effect and durability out to 30 days of SAGE's PPD drug set up the "best-case scenario" for the company. Furthermore, Matteis believes the results presented imply potential differentiation and lend validation to SAGE-547 in depression and also in super-refractory status epilepticus as it implies a differentiated mechanism relative to benzodiazepines. The analyst expects "significant" stock upside after today's data and reiterated an Outperform rating and $66 price target on SAGE shares.
POSITIVE FOR PARTNER: In a separate note to investors this morning, Roth Capital analyst Joseph Pantginis sees SAGE's "significant" top-line results from its Phase 2 study of SAGE-547 as positive for its partner Ligand, as the latter is entitled to receive a 3% royalty on potential sales of the drug. SAGE-547 is one of "The Big 6" products for Ligand and today's news could represent a "big boost" to its revenue, the analyst noted. Pantginis recommended buying Ligand's stock, as current revenue streams from partnered products should help drive "significant" growth in the near and longer term. He reiterated a Buy rating and $147 price target on Ligand's shares.
PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, shares of SAGE have jumped nearly 35% to $45.25, while Ligand's stock has advanced fractionally to $127.06 per share.
Reporting by Jessica de Sa-Mota.
is a leading digital publisher of real-time financial news. Our financial market experts understand that news impacting stock prices can originate from anywhere, at any time. The Fly team scours all sources of company news, from mainstream to cutting-edge, then filters out the noise to deliver short-form stories consisting of only market moving content. Follow @theflynews on Twitter. For a free trial, click