Julian and Felix Baker’s Baker Bros. Advisors LP has filed a 13D filing in which it reported ownership of 4.27 million shares of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AQXP), which represent 39.8% of the company’s common stock. This marks an increase of 3.06 million shares since the fund’s latest filing on Aquinox. At the same time, the nature of the stake was changed to activist, which however might be related to the large size of the position.
Baker Bros. Advisors is a healthcare and life sciences focused hedge fund founded by Julian and Felix Baker in 2000. The New York-based hedge fund mainly provides services to endowments, foundations and high-net-worth families. According to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC, Baker Bros. Advisors manages a equity portfolio with a market value of $12.02 billion as of March 31. The hedge fund has benefited significantly from the high exposure to the health care sector, which has always been among the best performing sectors, especially in the last year on the back of significant growth of the biotech industry. The M&A activity in the biotechnology industry in 2015 is five times higher than in 2014, reaching $24.2 billion in deals.
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Aquinox Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AQXP) is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company that aims at discovering and developing targeted therapeutics in disease areas of inflammation and immune-oncology. The company’s lead drug candidate is AQX-1125, which is a small molecule activator of SH2-containing inositol-5′-phosphatase 1 (“SHIP1”) and has demonstrated broad anti-inflammatory activity. The stock is one of the top gainers today, jumping by more than 250% in intraday trading on the back of positive results from AQX-1125 trial, while year-to-date, the stock has advanced by some 400%. Another shareholder that will most likely profit from the stock’s surge is another healthcare-focused fund Kevin Kotler’s Broadfin Capital, which owns 531,768 shares as of March 31.