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The Morning Brief: Steve Cohen’s Point72 Suffers Biotech Whiplash

You win some, you lose some. Steve Cohen was reminded of this again on Monday when two fledgling biotech stocks held by his family office, Point72 Asset Management, went in sharply different directions. One more than doubled while the other lost nearly all of its value. However, neither stock is a sizable position in Point72’s U.S. stock portfolio, valued at $14.2 billion in its latest 13F filing.

The winning position was Achaogen. Shares of the biopharmaceutical company surged 148 percent after it received good news for its phase 3 clinical trials for a drug that would treat urinary tract infections. At the end of the third quarter, Point72 was the company’s sixth-largest shareholder, although it was only the family office’s 448th-largest U.S. long position. Renaissance Technologies was also a top-ten holder, but the stock was a tiny portion of its portfolio as well.

On the other hand, shares of Ophthotech Corporation plunged more than 86 percent on Monday after the company reported disappointing results for its phase trials for a drug that would treat macular degeneration. Point72 was the tenth-largest shareholder at the end of the third quarter, when it established the position.


Joseph Edelman’s Perceptive Advisors raised its stake in VBI Vaccines to 8.6 million shares, or 20.5 percent of the biopharmaceutical company, which is trying to develop vaccines for large, underserved markets. Roughly three-quarters of its stake is in common stock held by Perceptive’s main hedge fund, Perceptive Life Sciences Fund, and managed accounts, while the rest is held as warrants by its credit fund, according to a regulatory filing. The credit fund received the warrants when it earlier extended a loan to the company. Perceptive specializes in drug, biotech and other health care companies.


Kyle Bass’s Hayman Capital Management sold more than 2.1 million shares of NMI Holdings, reducing its stake in the company to 4.5 percent. When the home loan guarantor went public in late 2013, Hayman had the third-largest stake, with 9.9 percent of the shares. The stock is currently trading at $9.95, down nearly 30 percent since its initial public offering.

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