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Ardelyx Inc (ARDX): RA Capital Management Discloses 7.3% Passive Stake

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RA Capital Management, led by Peter Kolchinsky, has opened a new position in clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX). A new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that RA Capital now holds just under 1.90 million shares of Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX). The stake represents 7.3% of the company’s common stock, and is passive by nature, consistent with Kolchinsky’s hands-off investment approach. RA Capital was co-founded by Kolchinsky in 2001 with Rich Aldrich. Based in Boston, the fund invests in public and private healthcare and life sciences companies engaged in developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. In its latest 13F, RA Capital disclosed a public equity portfolio valued at $988.4 million as of March 31, with the fund’s top holdings, in terms of value, being Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACHN), Dyax Corp. (NASDAQ:DYAX), and BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX).

Peter Kolchinsky

We track hedge funds to learn about their investment ideas. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ large-cap stock picks historically delivered a monthly alpha of six basis points, though these stocks underperformed the S&P 500 Total Return Index by an average of seven basis points per month between 1999 and 2012. These stocks were able to generate alpha because of their lower risk profile. On the other hand, the 15 most popular small-cap stocks among hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 Index by an average of 95 basis points per month. These stocks were slightly riskier, so their monthly alpha was 80 basis points (read the details here). Since the official launch of our small-cap strategy in August 2012 it has performed just as predicted, returning over 144% and beating the market by more than 84 percentage points.

California-based Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on cardio-renal, gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases. The market cap of the company is $271.20 million. Last week, Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX) announced that it entered into a termination agreement with AstraZeneca plc (ADR)(NYSE:AZN). Under the agreement, Ardelyx will regain all rights for all NHE3 inhibitors previously licensed to AstraZeneca, including the company’s lead product candidate, tenapanor. This will allow Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX) to accelerate the clinical development path for tenapanor in constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C). The company plans to initiate a phase 3 clinical program in IBS-C patients in the fourth quarter of this year. In addition, Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX) is planning to start a phase 2b clinical trial in the fourth quarter to evaluate the optimal dosing regimen for tenapanor for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in dialysis patients. In other company news, Ardelyx Inc (NASDAQ:ARDX) announced that it is developing RDX022 for the treatment of elevated potassium, or hyperkalemia. For RDX022, the company plans to pursue a 505b(2) regulatory pathway in the United States.

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