With venture capital and hedge funds, OrbiMed keeps returns
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....