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Cerecor Shares Moving In Sympathy To Positive Alkermes' Trial News

Cerecor Shares Moving In Sympathy To Positive Alkermes' Trial News

Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ: ALKS) announced Thursday after the market close positive top-line results from FORWARD-5, the third Phase 3 efficacy study for ALKS 5461, its investigational medicine for the adjunctive treatment of major depressive disorder, or MDD, in patients showing inadequate response to standard anti-depressant therapies.

The stock reacted with over a 40 percent upside in Thursday's after-hours session and in the regular trading session on Friday, it was up about 30 percent.

Alkermes is moving on the trial results. So why is Cerecor Inc (NASDAQ: CERC) on a tear as well? In trading parlance, it is called a sympathy move, which means a stock moving in sync with another by virtue of it having a competing or similar product.

Cerecor is developing a rival product for treating MDD, CERC-301, which is one of its lead product candidate.

Cerecor's CERC-301 was tested in a Phase 2 trial initiated in November 2013, and the tidings from the trials released in March 2015 were not positive, at least on the efficacy metric. However, the safety profile was encouraging. A higher dosage was tested in a pharmokinetics study and was found to be safe. Having decided to move ahead with the compound, the company is due to release top-line results in November 2016.

Related Link: Alkermes Rallies Off Positive Data For Depression Drug Trial

Meanwhile, Alkermes' late-stage study of ALKS 5461 met its primary endpoint of significantly reduced symptoms of depression in patients with MDD compared to placebo. The company also noted that it was well tolerated.

Armed with the positive results and data collected to-date on the efficacy and safety of ALKS 5461, Alkermes is planning to request a meeting with the FDA's Division of Psychiatric Products to discuss the filing strategy for this Fast Track designated medicine.

At the time of writing, Alkermes was up 31.05 percent at $57.02 and Cerecor was up 18.09 percent at $3.96.

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