With venture capital and hedge funds, OrbiMed keeps returns aloft
By Eric Baum
When biotech and healthcare stocks stalled last year, Sam Isaly, a founding partner of OrbiMed Advisors, would occasionally swat a battered leather punching bag attached to the front of his desk. The boxing stance might seem to come natural: A spinal injury that confines the 62-year-old fund manager to a wheelchair also closes his hands into loosely clenched fists, like an aged fighter's.
A year of turmoil kept the punching bag nearby, and by the end of December, OrbiMed's $1 billion hedge fund, Caduceus Capital, managed to finish the year up 9.1%, almost double the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index's 4.58% gain. And that was in spite of a 4% drop in December for Caduceus.
Isaly's periodic bouts of frustration are understandable. The past two years have been a difficult slog for many biotech and healthcare investors....