Baupost Group Discloses 12.92 Percent Stake In Biotie Therapies

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Baupost Group, the hedge fund headed by Seth Klarman disclosed a 12.92% stake in Biotie Therapies on its 13G filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) dated June 30, 2015.

The filing showed that Baupost Group owns 130,682,552 shares of Biotie Therapies, a Finnish biopharmaceutical company focused on developing drugs for patients suffering from neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.

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Baupost notification regarding its stake in Biotie

On June 17, Biotie Therapies received a notification from Baupost Group in accordance with Chapter 9, Section 5 of the Finnish Securities Markets Act regarding the changes in its share ownership in the company.

At the time, Baupost Group reported that it had 10.21% or 100,126,996 shares and voting rights in Biotie Therapies. The hedge fund also indicated that its ownership in the company would increase to 11.23% or 130,682,552 shares and voting rights upon exercise of Warrants (30,555,556 shares).

Baupost Group’s ownership was calculated based on the current total number of shares and votes published by the company during that period with the assumption that no other new shares were issued. At the time, the number of shares and votes published by Biotie Therapies was 980,851,935, of which 2,605,691 shares were held by the hedge fund.

Biotie stock performance

Biotie Therapies completed the pricing of its U.S. public offering of 3,761,418 American Depositary Shares (ADS) for $14.88 a piece last month. The company started trading its ADS on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “BITI” on June 11.

Biotie Therapies traded between $16.11 and $25.39 per share since started selling its ADS on NASDAQ. Today, its ADS are trading 19.12 per share, up by more than 7% at the time of this writing, around 11:30 AM in New York.

Biotie is developing "best in class treatment" for Parkinson's disease

Elmer Piros, an analyst at Roth Capital recently initiated coverage on the shares of Biotie Therapies with a Buy rating and a price target of $26 per share. Piros believed that the Finnish biopharmaceutical company is in the process of developing the “best in class treatment” for Parkinson’s disease.

Biotie Therapies is developing tozadenant for Parkinson’s disease. Tozadenance is a unique Adenosine A2A receptor antagonist. According to Piros, "While other A2A antagonists produced mixed results in terms of efficacy, tozadenant stands out because of its superior half-life and receptor occupancy.”

Biotie Therapies owns full global rights to tozadenant, and it is advancing its product development to Phase 3. The company signed an agreement with the FDA regarding the design of the Phase 3 pivotal program for tozadenant. According to the company, it would start the patient enrollment into the Phase 3 program in the middle of this year.

The Special Protocol Assessment indicated that a “450-patient, randomized, placebo-controlled trial coupled with the previously published Phase 2b study could be sufficient for approval in the US," noted Piros in his report.

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