Seth Klarman

According to a 13G filed with the SEC, Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group has purchased a 12.34% stake in Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.. The famous value hedge fund now owns 16,527,400 shares of the bio-pharmaceutical company, compared to 10,000,000 shares held as of 6/30/12. Baupost Group will be filing its 13F shortly, which will provide more insight into current equity positions. The stake in IDIX is worth approximately $70 million. The hedge fund manages approximately $24 billion.

Baupost Group is the largest shareholder after Novartis, which holds a 25% stake in Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDIX).

Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Idenix) is a bio-pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of drugs for the treatment of human viral diseases with operations in the United States and Europe.

IDIX reported Q3 earnings after the market close on November 1st. IDIX provided more clarity on the timing for potentially lifting IDX184’s partial clinical hold as well as updates on the rest of its HCV pipeline.

No serious cardiovascular (CV) abnormalities. (1) EKGs of patients given IDX184 were consistent with those of the population (of 65 years old with hypertension, diabetes, and/or history of drug use). There were no QTc or conduction abnormalities. Myocardial depression was observed, but was less severe (vs. BMS-986094). (2) There were elevations of NT-proBNPs. It is unclear if IDX184 is causing to this rise, as anemia and treatment with IFN and RBV can increase NT-proBNP levels. All other CV biomarkers were normal.

Some clarity on the pathway forward for IDX184. IDIX plans to submit a complete response package to the FDA by year-end. The FDA will have 30 days to respond. A decision could come as early as Q1’13. If IDX184’s  partial clinical hold is lifted in Q1’13, IDIX could start a PII trial evaluating combos of IDX184 and other direct acting antivirals (DAA) by mid-2013. IDIX will likely recruit 100-200 patients for this study to build a sufficient safety database for IDX184. IDIX will need to conduct cardiac monitoring.

IDX719 updates. IDIX expects to start a PII trial evaluating IDX719 with other DAAs in H1’13. IDIX remains interested in combining IDX719 with other PIs (most likely TMC435).

For the six months ended 30 June 2012, Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. revenues increased from $5M to $37.1M. Net loss decreased 37% to $13.9M. Revenues reflect Product sales net increase of 15% to $2.5M. Basic Earnings per Share excluding Extraordinary Items increased from -$0.26 to -$0.13.

Shares of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:IDIX) closed at $4.17, up 2.71% in Friday’s trading session. Shares of the company are down nearly 50% over the past three months.


Disclosure: No position