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Cambridge's SAGE Therapeutics Nabs $38 Million For CNS Drugs



3/13/2014 6:45:55 AM

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SAGE Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines to treat specialty, critical and orphan central nervous system (CNS) disorders, today announced the successful completion of a $38 million Series C financing. OrbiMed Advisors, LLC, EcoR1 Capital Management, Foresite Capital Management and two undisclosed blue chip public investment funds joined existing investors Third Rock Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners.

“We are impressed by SAGE’s focus on rare and orphan CNS diseases,” said Carl Gordon, Ph.D., CFA, general partner at OrbiMed. “We view the early human experience with SAGE-547 in status epilepticus, coupled with SAGE’s approach to designing clinical trials in indications with hard endpoints and the potential for rapid readouts, as key assets to SAGE today.”

SAGE plans to use the proceeds of the financing to advance the company’s clinical and preclinical programs in orphan and acute CNS disorders, including status epilepticus. Based on promising preclinical and clinical data, SAGE has opened enrollment for a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of SAGE-547 for the treatment of super refractory status epilepticus (SRSE). SRSE is a life-threatening seizure condition for which there are no approved therapies. SAGE-547 is the lead program in a potential portfolio of seizure medicines and will be followed by intravenous and oral compounds designed to treat patients with earlier-stage seizure disorders, as well as other CNS disorders.

“We appreciate the support of our existing and new investors for our approach to developing new medicines that may improve outcomes for people with rare and life-threatening CNS disorders,” said Jeffrey Jonas, M.D., chief executive officer of SAGE. “We believe SAGE-547 will be the first of several product candidates derived from our platform for the treatment of orphan and genetic seizure disorders. We also believe that the mechanisms of action associated with our novel molecules may have application more broadly, in several psychiatric and neurologic disorders.”

About SAGE Therapeutics

SAGE Therapeutics is a neuroscience-focused company developing medicines to treat rare and orphan diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). SAGE’s lead program, SAGE-547, is in clinical development for super refractory status epilepticus and is the first of many compounds the company is developing in its portfolio of potential seizure medicines. In addition to status epilepticus, the company’s initial pipeline includes programs in neuroanesthesia and orphan genetic CNS disorders where currently available therapies poorly address the areas of most urgent patient need and may also be accompanied by considerable side effects. SAGE’s robust allosteric modulator chemistry platform has generated multiple new compounds that target the GABAA and NMDA pathways, which have demonstrated preclinical activity. SAGE Therapeutics is a private company launched in 2011 by an experienced team of R&D leaders, CNS experts and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.sagerx.com.

Contacts

Pure Communications
Susan Heins, 864-286-9597
sjheins@purecommunicationsinc.com

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