Biotech Stock Moves Higher After Fast-Track Designation

SAGE has been struggling on the charts all year

Deputy Editor
Sep 15, 2021 at 1:36 PM
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SAGE Therapeutics Inc (NYSE:SAGE) is in the spotlight today, after the drugmaker received fast-track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its potential Huntington's disease treatment. The drug candidate, Sage-718, is expected to start a Phase 2 trial later this year. At last check, SAGE is up 4% to trade at $45.34. 

The stock has been struggling on the charts this year, down 47.6% year-to-date, though the $40 level contained the damage in August . Despite today's pop, the 50-day moving average is keeping a close lid on the shares. 

SAGE 0915

More FDA progression could break the analyst gridlock, with 10 of the 20 in coverage carrying a "hold" rating, with 10 a "strong buy." However, the 12-month consensus price target of $85.11 is an 87.6% premium to current levels, so perhaps price-target hikes won't be coming down the pike so soon.

Elsewhere, the options pits have been more bullish than usual. This is per SAGE's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 9.70 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than 88% of readings from the past year. Echoing this, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.87 stands in the low 7th annual percentile, suggesting short-term options traders have rarely been more call-biased. 

It's also worth noting that SAGE  ranks low on the Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS), with a score of just 12 out of 100. In other words, the security has consistently realized lower volatility than the options pits have priced in, making the equity a potential premium-selling candidate.



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