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Andreas Halvorsen Scoops Up Abeona Therapeutics

- By Sydnee Gatewood

Viking Global Investors LP Chief Investment Officer Andreas Halvorsen (Trades, Portfolio) established a stake in Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (ABEO) on Sept. 22, according to GuruFocus real-time picks.

Managing a portfolio of 53 stocks, Halvorsen invests largely in the technology sector. The firm, which he co-founded in 1999, seeks long-term investments based on fundamental analysis and thorough assessment of a company's business model, management team and industry trends. The firm also focuses on risk management.

Halvorsen invested in 2.24 million shares of Abeona for an average price of $14.95 per share, giving it 0.22% portfolio space.

The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company has a market cap of $707.04 million; its shares were trading around $17.55 on Tuesday with a price-book (P/B) ratio of 7.93 and a price-sales (P/S) ratio of 763.04.

According to the Peter Lynch chart below, the stock is trading below its fair value.


GuruFocus ranked Abeona's financial strength 8 of 10 and its profitability and growth 2 of 10.

The company, which develops novel gene therapies for rare, life-threatening diseases, reported its second-quarter financial results on Aug. 15. Quarterly revenue of $217,000 increased from $214,000 in the prior-year quarter. It posted an earnings loss of 21 cents per share, compared to a loss of 20 cents per share a year ago.

In late August, the company's EB-101 autologous cell therapy for the treatment of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa received breakthrough therapy status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. According to the Mayo Clinic, epidermolysis bullosa is a rare disease that causes the skin to blister in response to minor injury, heat or friction from rubbing, scratching or adhesives.

Halvorsen has positions in eight other biotechnology stocks, which include Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (JAZZ), Shire PLC (SHPG), AveXis Inc. (AVXS), Kite Pharma Inc. (KITE) and Calithera Biosciences Inc. (CALA). Health care stocks compose 12.3% of his overall portfolio.

Other gurus invested in Abeona are George Soros (Trades, Portfolio), Chuck Royce (Trades, Portfolio) and Louis Moore Bacon (Trades, Portfolio).

Disclosure: I do not own any stocks mentioned.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.