Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NERV) Shares Skyrocket Following Successful Schizophrenia Drug Trial

Shares of Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NASDAQ:NERV) have surged by more than 235% today after the company announced positive results from the Phase IIb trial of its antidepressant drug candidate MIN-101. Results from the study proved the superiority of MIN-101 compared to a placebo in its primary endpoint of improving negative symptoms, which is judged using the pentagonal structure model (PSM) of the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The treatment also effectively met several secondary endpoints. In a statement, Minerva’s CEO Dr. Remy Luthringer said that the results depict the meaningful benefit of the drug and support its further development. Dr. Luthringer said that the company’s drug has the potential to address the currently unmet medical needs in the treatment of mood disorders and other central nervous system problems, which are not addressed by existing therapies.

How do you pick the next stock to invest in? One way would be to spend hours of research browsing through thousands of publicly traded companies. However, an easier way is to look at the stocks that smart money investors are collectively bullish on. Hedge funds and other institutional investors usually invest large amounts of capital and have to conduct due diligence while choosing their next pick. They don’t always get it right, but, on average, their stock picks historically generated strong returns after adjusting for known risk factors (see the details here). With this in mind, let’s take a look at the recent hedge fund activity surrounding Minerva Neurosciences Inc (NASDAQ:NERV).

Heading into the second quarter of 2016, a total of 7 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey held long positions in this stock, a 75% jump from the end of the fourth quarter of 2015. Those hedge funds held $21.85 million worth of the company’s shares, amounting to 12.90% of its common stock. The massive gains also come a couple of months after one of the company’s Directors made a substantial purchase of shares.

James Dondero’s Highland Capital Management reported owning 889,070 shares of Minerva Neurosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:NERV) in its quarterly 13F for the March quarter. Bihua Chen’s Cormorant Asset Management owned the largest position in Minerva on March 31 among the funds in our database, totaling 1.75 million shares. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management made a $0.1 million investment in the stock during the first quarter. Simon Sadler’s Segantii Capital also opened a new position in the stock during the quarter.

Disclosure: None