NicoElnino /
15 June 2018Asia

Sage Therapeutics and Shionogi partner to develop antidepressant

US-based biopharmaceutical company Sage Therapeutics and Japan-based pharmaceutical corporation Shionogi have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop an antidepressant drug.

The two companies will develop and commercialise SAGE-217 for the treatment of major depressive disorder in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was announced yesterday, June 14, Shionogi will pay Sage $90 million. Sage will be able to receive additional development and commercial payments up to $485 million.

If the development of the drug is successful, Sage will also receive tiered royalties on sales of the drug in the countries.

Jeff Jonas, managing director and CEO of Sage, said that the companies share a common goal to treat depression.

“Shionogi is a well-regarded commercial leader in mood disorders in the Asian market,” he explained. “By working together, we believe we can expand the global footprint of SAGE-217 alongside our ongoing efforts in the US and EU,” he said.

Isao Teshirogi, president and CEO of Shionogi, added: “This collaboration, if successful, will enable us to move one step closer in realising a more vigorous society in which patients in need are provided the potential for relief from the psychological uncertainty of depression allowing the possibility of fulfilment of one’s innate ability.”

Sage received breakthrough therapy designation from the US Food and Drug Administration in February this year for the drug.

The US-based company recently announced an expedited development plan for SAGE-217 in the US. A phase three trial in patients with major depressive disorder is expected to commence this year.

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