Fund launches & closures Hedge Funds

Ex-Merlin BioMed exec starts healthcare strat

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U.S. healthcare spending has increased from 4.5% of the GDP in 1950 to 16% in 2008, and yet infant mortality and life expectancy in the U.S. is still behind Western Europe, Japan, Australia and Canada.

Stuart Weisbrod, founder of the now-closed Merlin BioMed Group, recently formed Iguana Healthcare Partners and launched a long/short fund on Jan. 1.

Before founding Greenwich, Conn.-based Iguana in the fall of 2009, Weisbrod ran Merlin BioMed, a long/short healthcare-oriented hedge fund he founded in 1998 and closed in December 2007. He served as chief investment officer and the firm’s funds achieved a net annualized return of more than 20%.

Iguana is named for the creatures and their “ability to evolve and thrive in changing environments throughout the world,” according to the firm’s investor presentation. Iguana Healthcare Partners will invest