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Sage Therapeutics's stock shoots higher after postpartum depression treatment's positive trial results

Tomi Kilgore

Shares of Sage Therapeutics Inc. shot up 44% in active early-afternoon trade, after the Massachusetts-based biopharmceutical company said its treatment for postpartum depression (PPD) met the primary and secondary endpoints of a phase 3 trial. Trading volume swelled to about 3 million shares, compared with the full-day average of about 463,000 shares. The company said patients treated with SAGE-217 30 milligrams had a "statistically significant improvement" in the Hamilton Rating Scale for depression when compared with placebo, and was generally well tolerated. Separately, the company said it will provide updates on key 2019 initiatives, including drug milestones expected in the next 12-to-18 months, when it is scheduled to present last Tuesday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. The stock has still declined 17% over the past 12 months, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has slipped 2.9% and the S&P 500 has lost 6.5%.