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Biogen and Sage ink $1.5bn deal to develop anti-depression treatments

Fri 27 November 2020 13:34 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Biogen has inked a deal with Sage Therapeutics to jointly develop and sell potentially "breakthrough" treatments for major depressive and movement disorders in the US.

Biogen meanwhile will gain an exclusive license to develop and sell the treatments, zuranolone (SAGE-217) and SAGE-324, outside the US, with the exceptions of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

SAGE 217 is used to treat major depressive disorder, postpartum depression and other psychiatric disorders, while SAGE-324 is used to treat tremor and other neurological disorders.

"Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17 million people in the U.S. alone, and is a common co-morbidity of multiple neurological disorders in Biogen's core therapeutic areas," Biogen chief, Michel Vounatsos said.

"There is a tremendous unmet medical need in depression, and we are optimistic about the potential for zuranolone to help transform the treatment of depression and address the stigma often associated with chronic use of antidepressants."

Under the terms of the deal, Biogen will pay Sage $875m in case upfront and invest a further $650m in its equity.

The deal also provides for potential milestone payments, profit sharing and royalties.

As of 1346 GMT, shares of Sage were rising by 3.28% to $85.0 while Biogen stock was up 0.6% at $243.2.

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