Massachusetts’ Biogen bets on depression drug with $1.5bn Sage Therapeutics deal



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Massachusetts’ Biogen bets on depression drug with $1.5bn Sage Therapeutics deal

Biogen Inc., the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based American multinational pharmaceutical giant had been mulling an option to purchase a $650 million stake in Sage Therapeutics, while the companies had also agreed to jointly develop and sell treatments of major depressive disorders alongside other neurological illnesses, Biogen and Sage Therapeutics said in a joint statement late on Friday.

On top of that, under the terms of the $1.5 billion deal, Biogen would lay off an upfront pay out of $875 million and the fresh funding would be capitalized on developing drugs for depression and other neurological disorders as beforementioned, while deal would provide Biogen Inc.

with access to Sage Therapeutics’ Zuranolone, an oral anti-depressant primarily focused on major depressive disorder alongside postpartum depression. Notably, an approximated 16 million or one in every twenty Americans are diagnosed with major depressive disorders (MDD) every year, data from US CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) had unveiled.

Biogen bets big on depression treatments with $1.5bn deal with Sage

More importantly, analysts were quoted saying following Friday’s joint statement that the deal would help Biogen muscle up its portfolio with access to two experimental drugs having had blockbuster potentials at a critical time, while a US FDA approval of its experimental Alzheimer drug Aducanumab had been met with a sheer uncertainty.

In tandem, according to the terms of the deal unveiled late on Friday, Biogen would purchase 6.2 million newly issued shares of Sage Therapeutics for an upsum of $104.14 per share, marking up a premium of 26 per cent on Sage’s Wednesday’s closing price, while aside from that $1.525 billion in fresh liquidity, Sage would be enabled to receive as many as $1.6 billion in potential milestone pay offs.

Nonetheless, shares’ prices of Nasdaq-listed Sage Therapeutics, which made an entrance in the US depression drug market last year with its postpartum depression drug Zulresso, tottered as much as 8.5 per cent to $75.57 per share on Friday following reveal of the Biogen deal.