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Andreas Halvorsen Dives into Deciphera Pharma

Company launches initial public offering and reports recent study results

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Oct 12, 2017
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Andreas Halvorsen (Trades, Portfolio), chief investment officer of Viking Global Investors, invested in 2,479,867 shares of Deciphera Pharmaceuticals Inc. (DCPH, Financial) for $19.73 per share on Oct. 2, according to GuruFocus real-time picks.


The Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company launched an initial public offering of 7.5 million common stock shares at $17 per share in late September. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (

JPM, Financial) and Piper Jaffray Cos. (PJC, Financial), the IPO’s underwriters, exercised their option to purchase an additional 666,496 shares at $17 per share, bringing the total gross proceeds to approximately $138.83 million.

Company background

Deciphera, a clinical-stage biotech company, focuses on improving the lives of cancer patients through small drug molecules that target kinases, a family of enzymes that can potentially worsen various cancers. The company is developing drug candidate DCC-2618 for patients with gastronomical stromal tumors (GIST).

Company CEO Michael Taylor said the clinical activity from DCC-2618 “supports the planned evaluation of [the drug] in a placebo-controlled, randomized, pivotal Phase 3 trial” in GIST patients. Taylor emphasized that GIST currently does not have approved therapies and the company plans to initiate further trials in second-line and fourth-line GIST patients. Chief Medical Officer Oliver Rosen, M.D., amplified the CEO’s comments by saying DCC-2618 “continues to demonstrate good tolerability and clinical activity in heavily pretreated patients with GIST.”

See also

Halvorsen’s investment in Deciphera represents the guru’s third investment in health care companies since August. The Viking Global chief investment officer also took stakes in Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (

ABEO, Financial) and aTyr Pharma Inc. (LIFE, Financial). Halvorsen currently has a 12.3% weight in health care companies.

You can view all guru trades within a sector through the Sector Picks page. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (

BRK.A, Financial)(BRK.B, Financial) CEO Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio) said to stay in your “circle of competence.” According to the Health Care Sector Picks page, other gurus like Steven Cohen (Trades, Portfolio), Jerome Dodson (Trades, Portfolio) and Steven Romick (Trades, Portfolio) recently invested in health care companies.



Disclosure: I do not have positions in the stocks mentioned.

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