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Why Marinus Pharmaceuticals Shares Spiked On Sage Therapeutics News

Elizabeth Balboa

Marinus Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: MRNS) closed up 39.6 percent Thursday and continued another 3.9 percent pre-market Friday — but not on its own merits.

The stock moved mostly on sympathy for SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SAGE), a biotech peer that released positive clinical data on its brexanolone treatment for major depressive disorder and subsequently surged 70 percent.

Street analysts expect the drug to advance to Phase 3 studies, eventually secure regulatory approval and potentially prove efficacious in treating Parkinson’s and essential tremor.

Sage’s progress was well interpreted by Marinus investors, who back a similar pipeline to treat postpartum depression and epilepsy. Marinus’ ganaxolone, a GABA modulator akin to SAGE-217, is in Phase 2 development for four separate trials.

At the time of publication, Marinus shares were set to open up 2.4 percent at $8.85, while Sage was up 1.7 percent at $158.99.

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