Stocks in the biotechnology industry have been very active as of late, with companies’ shares registering significant gains. The industry jumped by 39% over the past 52 weeks and despite many experts considering that biotech stocks are currently in a bubble, investors still seem to be bullish, at least according to some of the latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Jacob Gottlieb‘s Visium Asset Management has disclosed raising its exposure to Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR), and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNSS) in two newly amended filings with the SEC, though in another recent filing, Samuel Isaly’s OrbiMed Advisors reported further reducing its activist stake in Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT). Let’s take a closer look at each move.
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So, let’s get back to the latest moves that hedge funds made in the biotech sector. Visium Asset Management has disclosed increasing its passive stake in Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) to 1.41 million shares, from just 200,000 shares held previously. Following the increase, Mr. Gottlieb’s healthcare-focused fund owns 6.4% of the $2.0 billion company. Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) is engaged in the development and sale of therapies for patients with high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The company’s stock had a very impressive run over the last year, surging by over 500%.
Esperion Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ESPR) has recently announced positive results from a mid-stage trial of its cholesterol-busting drug ETC-1002, which also helped the stock gain more ground. Last week, however, the stock dropped by more than 15% on Wednesday, amid a large sell-off that affected many biotech stocks and sparked discussions regarding a burst of the bubble. Another investor that is bullish on Esperion Therapeutics is Dennis Purcell’s Aisling Capital, which owns 2.05 million shares as of the end of 2014, the company representing its largest holding in terms of value.