Market

Under pressure to perform, Woodford counterattacks against Sahm Adrangi’s latest short assault

Feeling the heat now on his struggling funds, Neil Woodford has come out swinging against Sahm Adrangi and Kerrisdale Capital, which recently slammed one of his big biotech bets.

At an event in London, Woodford went on the attack against Adrangi, who badly damaged Prothena $PRTA with a blistering attack on its lead drug, NEOD001, an AL amyloidosis drug.

According to Kerrisdale analysts, the Phase I/II study for this drug failed to show any promise. Pointing to expert — though unnamed — figures in the field, the data from the looming Phase IIb and Phase III studies will prove the drug’s worthlessness beyond any doubt.

Woodford, an investor in Prothena, begged to differ, according to a report from Citywire.

“Their job is to scare the market when the market is prepared to be scared. It doesn’t matter if what they said about Allied Minds and Prothena is totally inaccurate and unsubstantiated,” he said. “What matters is Bloomberg and others giving them the oxygen of publicity and hey presto there is a self-fulfilled prophecy and the share price falls.”

Allied Minds has yet to recover from the drubbing it took after Adrangi focused on the company in 2015, predicting a 67% decline in the value of what he felt was a heavily overvalued stock. And Adrangi took a big bite out of Prothena’s market cap as well, as investors peeled away after the brutal short attack.

Woodford, though, has a variety of soured investments which have dogged his funds since he jumped out from Invesco and raised billions to invest in life sciences. Northwest Bio $NWBO, for example, stumbled into penny stock status, wounding the Woodford group as its shares were beaten up during a bull market.

A turnaround for Prothena — and Woodford — now rests on its upcoming data. Another setback for the London investor won’t do the rep he earned at Invesco any good.


Image: Sahm Adrangi and Neil Woodford. endpoints, Youtube/OpalesqueTV


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