Carl Icahn may have received most of the credit, and certainly the lion's share of the cash, created by his high-profile biotech raiding parties. But Alex Denner has been credited as the power behind the throne, a key player in the turnaround story of several top life sciences companies and a figure now promising to start stealing his own headlines now that he's jumped Icahn's ship to helm his own hedge fund.
NO NOMINATIONS BUT STRAIGHT APPOINTMENT
Data Are. I curse. Said one analyst: The likes of Adam Feuerstein attack viciously. ... $ARIA adds activist Alex Denner to its board. Expand
NOT NOMINATION but ARIAD Expands Its Board of Directors with Appointment of Alexander J. Denner Ph.D. of Sarissa Capital Management.
Director, Member of Compensation & Management Development Committee and Member of Corporate Governance Committee
Biogen Idec Inc.
Previously, Dr. Denner served as a senior managing director at Icahn Capital, a portfolio manager at Viking Global Investors, and a portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Dr. Denner serves as a director of Biogen Idec Inc. and VIVUS, Inc., both biopharmaceutical companies.
Adam send apology and blocked Aria members from his tweet. Alex followed what Adam said that ARIA is useless.
Sarissa is a new activist focused on health care. It was founded by Alex Denner, former senior managing director of Icahn Capital. Denner was the lead in many of Icahn's health-care investments and sat on several boards, including ImClone, Amylin, and Biogen. He has a Ph.D. in biotech and a rare combination of scientific and activist skills and experience.
Ariad has an approved drug, Iclusig, for treating chronic myelogenous leukemia. The efficacy of the drug is excellent, perhaps better than the competition, but there have been reports of cardiovascular side effects. While the side effects will likely prevent Iclusig from being the first-line therapy, it could still find a market for situations in which currently available drugs do not work, and that market could be significant.
One activist opportunity here could be to bring in a new CEO. The present CEO, Harvey Berger, has not been well received by investors, and in 2008, four company directors quit over "vigorous disagreements" with him. Another opportunity could be a sale of Ariad, as companies of its size in this industry are generally more valuable to a larger strategic investor with a huge sales force and infrastructure.