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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (10163)  | Author's Website |

Andreas Halvorsen Increases Kite Pharma Stake as His Health Care Investments Grow

Viking Global investor has a enlarged allocation to health care

March 01, 2016 | About:

Andreas Halvorsen (Trades, Portfolio) this week bought more of a stock in health care, a sector where he has increasingly invested.

Halvorsen, a Norwegian investor who founded the $30 billion hedge fund Viking Global, made health care stocks more than a third of his portfolio for the latter three quarters of 2015. His holdings spread throughout the sector, in areas such as biotech, drug manufacturing, health care plans, health care providers, medical diagnostics and research, and medical instruments and equipment.

Kite Pharma (NASDAQ:KITE), the holding Halvorsen increased Feb. 18, is a biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for cancer. The holding grew by 10.6%, or 234,029 shares, to 2,441,232 shares from 2,207,203 held at the end of the fourth quarter. Halvorsen’s stake consumes 5% of the company’s shares outstanding and 0.51% of his portfolio.

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Kite Pharma joins Editas Medicine (NASDAQ:EDIT), a position he started Feb. 8, as his portfolio’s only health care company of which he owns at least 5%.

The company aims to develop technology that will enable a patient’s immune system to attack cancer cells, addressing both blood and tumor cancers. Interim data for a pivotal trial of one of its treatments, targeting non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, is expected in 2016, with an FDA registration filing slated for year-end. It also plans for another of its candidates to enter clinical trial in 2016.

In its fourth-quarter earnings statement, Kite Pharma’s chairman, president and CEO, Dr. Arie Belldegrun, said: "We are advancing what we believe is the most robust clinical pipeline of chimeric antigen receptors and T cell receptors for both solid and hematological oncology… We expect that our pipeline progress in 2016 will include additional human proof of concept data supporting the potential of our TCRs [T cell receptors] for the treatment of solid tumors."

Kite Pharma reported its fourth-quarter and full-year 2015 results on Feb. 29. It had $4.9 million in fourth-quarter revenue compared to $0 revenue for the same quarter a year earlier, and $17.3 million for the full year compared to $0 for the year earlier. Its fourth-quarter net loss totaled $38.2 million, or 85 cents per share, compared to $13.0 million, or 33 cents per share for the same quarter a year earlier. For the full-year 2015 its net loss totaled $101.7 million, or $2.33 per share, compared to $43.7 million, or $1.91 per share, in 2014.

Kite Pharma had $614.7 million in balance-sheet cash as of Dec. 31, 2015, an increase from $367.0 million a year earlier, helped by a public offering in December that raised $272.6 million.

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Shares of Kite Pharma were up by around 14.2% Tuesday to $51.08 per share and have declined almost 17% this year. The company has a P/B ratio of 6.2.

See more of Andreas Halvorsen (Trades, Portfolio)’s stocks at his portfolio here. Not a Premium Member of GuruFocus? Try it free for 7 days.

About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a Master of Science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

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