Weakness in shares of Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) may be related to news that Biogen (BIIB) and Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) have expanded their strategic collaboration through a new ten-year collaboration agreement, which may be read by some market participants as lowering the odds for M&A action related to Sage.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Biogen will pay Ionis $1B in cash, which will include $625M to purchase 11,501,153 shares of Ionis common stock at an approximately 25% cash premium, and a $375M upfront payment. On April 24, 2017, Sage announced the appointment of Michael Cloonan as Chief Business Officer. Cloonan had come to Sage from Biogen, where he worked for 14 years. On the date of that announcement, Adam Feuerstein of STAT tweeted, “$SAGE expands exec team, including former $BIIB – er Michael Cloonan as new Chief Business Officer. Stand down on $SAGE takeout for now.” More recently, on April 10, 2018, shares of Sage has spiked higher in afternoon trading amid rumors of the company canceling from a planned presentation. A spokesperson for Sage Therapeutics told The Fly the company “cancelled participation in the JPMorgan meeting due to some travel logistics issues.” In March, Canaccord analyst Sumant Kulkarni had assumed Sage Therapeutics with a Buy rating, citing among other things “a high scarcity value in its robust/ripening CNS platforms.”
In midday trading, Sage shares are down $17.90, or 10.5%, to $151.77.