Shares of Minerva Neurosciences (NASDAQ:NERV) are soaring higher by over 70% following a purchase by Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and the company’s submission of a new drug application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NDA pertains to Minerva’s roluperidone, which seeks to treat symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Minerva is seeking approval for a 64 milligram (mg) dosage of the drug. Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that affects more than 20 million people across the globe.
The company has been in close contact with the FDA in regards to its NDA since the two parties met for a Type C meeting in March. The NDA cites evidence from two late-stage studies, with one study evaluating a 32 mg dosage and the other evaluating a 64 mg dosage in patients with “moderate to severe negative symptoms and stable positive symptoms of schizophrenia.”
Furthermore, the study seeks to provide evidence on the safety and efficacy of roluperidone. Minerva believes its drug can show improvement in negative schizophrenia symptoms over the course of 24 weeks for the lower dose and 40 weeks for the higher dose.
Minerva also has MIN-301 in its candidate pipeline to treat Parkinson’s disease. Previously, the company developed seltorexant for the treatment of insomnia and major depressive disorder in collaboration with a Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary.
With that in mind, let’s get into the details of Cohen’s purchase.
NERV Stock: Steve Cohen Purchases Shares
On Aug. 22, the day before Minerva’s NDA announcement, Cohen purchased 470,000 shares of NERV stock, equivalent to an 8.8% stake. While the purchase was extremely timely, it only represents 0.01% of Point72’s 13F portfolio worth more than $23 billion. After the purchase, Minerva is now Point72’s 920th position out of over one thousand positions. The hedge fund operates as a medium-term investor and has an average holding period of only 3.18 quarters for stocks in its portfolio.
Cohen isn’t the only notable institutional investor with a position in Minerva. The company’s largest shareholder, Federated Hermes (NYSE:FHI), kept its 1.2 million share position unchanged during the second quarter. Meanwhile, Susquehanna purchased call options against 38,025 shares, while BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) sold off 12,260 shares. In total, 13F filers own 2.27 million shares, down from 2.46 million shares during Q1.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.