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Sage Therapeutics Abandons Parkinson’s Drug Development Following Disappointing Mid-Stage Results

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Sage Therapeutics scraps plans for Parkinson's drug after mid-stage failure, ET HealthWorld

Sage Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, announced on Wednesday the discontinuation of its experimental drug for Parkinson’s disease after a mid-stage study showed disappointing results. The company’s decision led to a significant drop of 36% in its shares. Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder affecting approximately 1 million individuals in the United States, lacks effective treatment options.

The setback adds to Sage Therapeutics’ challenges following the rejection of its pill Zurzuvae for clinical depression, despite receiving approval for treating postpartum depression last year. As a result, the company had to lay off 40% of its workforce, affecting around 188 employees. The experimental drug, dalzanemdor, failed to demonstrate statistically significant improvements in cognitive impairment among Parkinson’s patients compared to a placebo in the study involving 86 participants.

Although the drug was deemed safe and well-tolerated, it did not meet its secondary goals. Dalzanemdor was also being evaluated for potential applications in other cognitive impairment-related conditions like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. Analysts had projected potential risk-adjusted sales of approximately $140 million for the drug earlier this year.

Sage Therapeutics’ decision to halt the development of the Parkinson’s drug marks a significant setback in the company’s efforts to address neurological disorders. The failure underscores the challenges in developing effective treatments for complex conditions like Parkinson’s disease, highlighting the need for continued research and innovation in the field of neurodegenerative disorders.

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