lthough Sage Therapeutics’ (SAGE) experimental antidepressant has been great for its stock price — it soared 70 percent on Thursday after the company announced mostly positive results from a Phase 2 clinical trial of the compound it calls Sage-217, and kept climbing on Friday — the jury is very much out on whether it will ever be good for patients suffering from major depression.

“These are very interesting preliminary results but they’re certainly not definitive,” said S.J. Enna of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, an expert on brain neurotransmitter receptors such as those targeted by Sage’s compound. The 89 patients in the study “is a very small number, and if you pick a different patient group you may get different results.” Whether the 89 are representative of patients with moderate to severe depression will become clearer after the company runs a Phase 3 trial, he said.

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