Sage Therapeutics Announces Development Plan for Zuranolone (SAGE-217) Following Breakthrough Therapy Guidance Meeting with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE) - March 18, 2020 -- Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SAGE), a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel therapies with the potential to transform the lives of people with debilitating disorders of the brain, today announced next steps in the Landscape Program, the clinical program evaluating zuranolone (SAGE-217) for the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), following a Breakthrough Therapy guidance meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sage has identified three potential pathways intended, if successful, to support a possible filing for approval of zuranolone in the U.S. in two novel indications – PPD and acute treatment of MDD when co-initiated with a new antidepressant – along with the previously disclosed development plan for the treatment of MDD as an episodic therapy.
“Following FDA guidance, Sage has several potential pathways to bring zuranolone to patients, if we are successful, with two pathways that would represent unique indications that we believe we can progress quickly and efficiently, while in tandem we pursue our original approach to develop zuranolone for the episodic treatment of depression,” said Jeff Jonas, M.D., chief executive officer of Sage Therapeutics. “The development program for zuranolone is an example of Sage’s ability to think differently about depression, with the goal of providing treatment options that help people with depression get better, sooner. Sage is well-positioned for the path forward, and to continue advancing our multi-franchise strategy.”
Zuranolone Landscape Program
The Landscape Program is evaluating the potential of zuranolone as a rapid-acting, short-course oral treatment for PPD and MDD. It includes three completed pivotal efficacy studies evaluating zuranolone 30 mg in PPD (ROBIN Study) and MDD (MDD-201, MOUNTAIN Study), the results of which have been previously reported.
Planned studies to support multiple filing pathways
Following discussions with the FDA, Sage plans to initiate three new short-term clinical studies in 2020, with the potential, if successful, for three distinct indications: PPD, acute rapid response therapy in MDD when co-initiated with a new standard antidepressant, and episodic treatment of MDD. These planned studies include:
1. For use as an oral therapy in women with PPD: one additional positive pivotal trial, along with data from previously completed studies, is expected to be required to support an efficacy claim in PPD. No additional long-term follow-up is expected to be required to support an efficacy claim in this indication:
Placebo-controlled trial evaluating a two-week course of zuranolone 50 mg in women with PPD, with additional short-term follow-up. Topline data from this study is anticipated in 2021.
2. For use as an acute rapid response therapy (RRT) in patients with MDD when co-initiated with new standard antidepressant therapy: one additional positive treatment study, along with data from previously completed acute treatment studies, is expected to be required to support an efficacy claim in this indication:
Placebo-controlled trial evaluating a two-week course of zuranolone 50 mg, when co-initiated with an open-label SSRI, in patients with MDD, with additional short-term follow-up. Topline data from this study is anticipated in 2021.
3. For use as an episodic therapy in patients with MDD: one additional positive pivotal trial, along with previously completed acute treatment studies and long-term safety data, including data from REDWOOD (MDD-302), are expected to be required to support an NDA filing for episodic treatment of depression:
Placebo-controlled trial evaluating a two-week course of zuranolone 50 mg in patients with MDD, with additional short-term follow-up. Topline data from this study is anticipated in 2021.
Updates to three ongoing or paused studies:
- SHORELINE Study (MDD-303): The Company is on track to report topline data in 2020 from patients with MDD who received zuranolone 30 mg in the SHORELINE Study.
- The protocol has been amended to allow currently enrolled patients to receive retreatment with zuranolone 50 mg. Additionally, the Company expects to enroll a new cohort of patients with MDD who will receive zuranolone 50 mg.
- REDWOOD Study (MDD-302): The Company paused enrollment in the REDWOOD study in the fourth quarter of 2019 and plans to reevaluate timing for reinitiating the study while resources and activities focus on enrollment in the three new planned Phase 3 clinical studies.
- RAINFOREST Study (MDD-304): The Company paused enrollment in the RAINFOREST study in the fourth quarter of 2019. The Company plans to evaluate data from ongoing and planned short-term studies prior to reinitiating enrollment.
The updated development plan is expected to create flexibility, if successful, to pursue an efficient and expedited pathway to filing based on data from an additional positive efficacy study (e.g. in MDD when co-initiated with a new antidepressant or in PPD), which the Company believes can be achieved without further long-term follow-up data.
The Company is also currently evaluating the ongoing zuranolone clinical pharmacology and safety program and plans to finalize requirements to support a potential future new drug application (NDA) with the FDA.
Based on its current operating plan and assumptions with respect to future plans and resource allocation decisions, Sage anticipates that its balance of cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities of approximately $1.0 billion as of December 31, 2019, will support operations into 2022. The Company is currently re-assessing its resource allocation and prioritization strategy in light of the development of zuranolone, the uptake of ZULRESSO™ (brexanolone) CIV injection, and factoring in the potential impact on its business of the unprecedented global public health crisis. The Company plans to share its updated resource allocation strategy during its first quarter earnings call.
Zuranolone (SAGE-217) is a once-daily, two-week therapy in development for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and postpartum depression (PPD). Zuranolone is an investigational oral neuroactive steroid (NAS) GABAA receptor positive allosteric modulator (PAM). The GABA system is the major inhibitory signaling pathway of the brain and central nervous system and contributes significantly to regulating brain function. Zuranolone has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
About Major Depressive Disorder
Major depressive disorder (MDD), commonly referred to as depression, is a brain health disorder that affects an estimated 17 million adults in the U.S. each year. It is one of the largest contributors to disability in the U.S. and worldwide and is characterized by symptoms of depressed mood and/or loss of interest in pleasurable activities. MDD causes significant impairment in daily life and can limit a person’s ability to fulfill work, school, family, or social responsibilities; enjoy leisure activities; or maintain health and hygiene. While antidepressants are widely used to treat MDD, large-scale studies have demonstrated that there is an unmet need in the treatment of MDD, including during the weeks between initiation of treatment and onset of effect, as well as the need for new therapeutic options.
About Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression (PPD) is one of the most common medical complications during and after pregnancy. PPD can have a serious negative impact on a woman, including significant functional impairment, depressed mood and/or loss of interest in her newborn, and associated symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, motor challenges, lack of concentration, loss of energy and poor self-esteem. PPD is estimated to affect approximately one in nine women who have given birth in the U.S. or approximately 400,000 women annually.
About Sage Therapeutics
Sage Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing novel therapies with the potential to transform the lives of people with debilitating disorders of the brain. We are pursuing new pathways with the goal of improving brain health, and our depression, neurology and neuropsychiatry franchise programs aim to change how brain disorders are thought about and treated. Our mission is to make medicines that matter so people can get better, sooner. For more information, please visit www.sagerx.com.
Source: Sage Therapeutics, Inc.