Hedge Fund Manager Kyle Bass Courts Clovis Oncology

Kyle Bass thinks that the stock market reaction to the news regarding Clovis’ manipulation of clinical trials is “overly punitive“. Clovis Oncology buffed up the numbers on the effectiveness of their new anti-cancer medication Rociletinib. The FDA called foul and ordered some tests of their own, which demonstrated Clovis had exaggerated. That’s a horrible thing for an organization to do which caters to millions afflicted by debilitating disease, but the reason Bass is calling foul is that Clovis Oncology is far from unique among pharmaceutical companies in this degree.

AstraZeneca recently received critical attention when it was revealed they used Asian patients to conduct clinical trials with, and the drug they were using had a high likelihood of being more conducive to Asian patients. Apparently, lung cancer treatments historically work well on Asians, and this data was known to AstraZeneca. None of this would be foul, except that the drug AstraZeneca was clinically testing had a marketing constituency of North Americans. AstraZeneca was clearly using legal means to fudge the numbers–they were “lying” within the rules of the game. But did anyone see their stock plummet seventy percent in a single day? Of course not!

Bass also still believes in Clovis Oncology because he thinks their next drug, Ruca, will impact the market in a way that he can capitalize from. Whether this capitalization is from an increase or decrease in Clovis’ stock is hard to say. Bass was able to make a killing several years back when he started an organization called the Coalition For Affordable Drugs. This coalition lowered the cost of many pharmaceuticals’ medicines, and subsequently lowered their stock value; which Bass capitalized on post-haste. As a result, American politicians across the political spectrum pulled in their horns and banded together in order that Bass’ loophole could be sewn shut. But Bass still capitalized off the loss he legally extracted from the Pharmaceutical organizations.

Is this humanitarianism? Shrewdness? A Scientology plot that’s funding Bass on the sly as UsefulStooges feels? Or is the man just a prime opportunist continually stumbling into profit? Well, the latter seems the least likely, and something many people are worried about regarding Bass is his relationship to Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, a well-known Argentine socialist. Bass himself is Argentine, however; could the argument be made that his relationship to de Kirchner is purely professional/nationalistic/relational? Of course it could, and there are also those who would spin it the other way.

Here’s the only thing anybody can know for sure: Bass right now has reason to support Clovis, he’s been successful in the past, and the man is downright sly. All these things cumulatively indicate Bass is a man to observe and suspend judgement about.

Leave a Reply