Deerfield initiated a position in AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) of some 1.53 million shares valued at $89.80 million during the first quarter. The holding represents 2.91% of the fund’s portfolio value. The stock price of Deerfield’s third-largest equity holding has appreciated by 3.47% so far this year. In comparison, the major drug manufacturers industry is up by 8.56% in the same time period. In order to enhance its oncology portfolio, AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) recently acquired Pharmacyclics for $21 billion. The company’s product Imbruvica is a market leader in hematological oncology, which has a global market of $24 billion. Among the funds that we track, the interest in AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) has significantly increased over the quarter as 72 firms had invested a total of $3.29 billion in the company at the end of March as compared to 61 funds with $2.66 billion in shares at the end of the previous quarter. Cliff Asness‘ AQR Capital Management is the largest stockholder of AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) among these, holding about 6.72 million shares valued at $393.78 million.
During the first quarter, Deerfield acquired some 631,200 shares of Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE) valued at $48.92 million. The holding represented 2.57% of the company’s outstanding shares and 1.58% of Deerfield’s portfolio value. After holding its initial public offering in February this year, Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE)’s stock has cruised upwards, by 36.08% so far. The $1.72 billion company is involved in developing products related to gene therapy. Its lead candidate, SPK-RPE65, treats rare blindness conditions known as inherited retinal dystrophies (IRDs) and it is in Phase III clinical trial stage testing. At the end of March, a total of 15 funds had invested $211.56 million in the company. Ken Griffin‘s renowned managed futures fund, Citadel Investment Group is one of them as it holds about 2,400 shares of Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE) valued at $184,000.