Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA): Healthcare-focused Sarissa Capital Inches Up Its Stake to 6.87%

As a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed, Sarissa Capital Management, a fund led by Alex Denner, has picked up its position in Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) to 12.85 million shares, from 12.0 million disclosed previously. Following the increase, Sarissa’s activist position ammounts to 6.87% of the company’s outstanding common stock. The total value of the holding amounts to $79.93 million at the current price of the stock.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA)

Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) is a $1.14 billion biopharmaceuticals company engaged in research, development and commercialization of drugs for the cancer patients. The company’s stock has not performed well, dropping significantly in the last quarter of 2013, and currently trading 65% down over the past 52-weeks. Ariad Pharmaceuticals reported a net loss of $56.9 million, equal to $0.30 per share for the second quarter of the year, narrowing it from $69 million, or $0.37 per share posted for the same period of last year.

In addition, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) stated that it is collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to complete its randomized trial on its Iclusig drug. The company plans to reach an agreement and sign a protocol by the end of this year.

While Sarissa is the largest shareholder of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) among the funds we track, several other investors also own significant positions in the company and seem to be bullish on it. Jim Simons‘ Renaissance Technologies has almost doubled his stake during the second quarter and reported holding 4.40 million shares in its latest 13F filing. Cliff Asness‘ AQR Capital Management has boosted its stake by over 300% to 3.88 million shares during the same period.

Sarissa Capital is a healthcare-focused hedge fund with an equity portfolio of around $294 million, where Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) represents the largest position in terms of value. Aside from that, the fund owns 2.0 million shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:IDIX) and 775,000 shares of Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX), which represent the second and third positions in terms of value respectively.

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