Janus Global Life Sciences Fund


By the Numbers
Amount in fund at 6/30/2014:
$2.2 billion ($2.6 billion at 9/24/2014)
YTD change to 9/24/2014:
22%
Number of positions:
85
Three largest holdings:
Gilead Sciences, Celgene, Aetna
Five top performers:
Genfit, Concordia Healthcare, Puma Biotechnology, PTC Therapeutics and GW Pharmaceuticals

About the fund: Managing a life sciences-focused mutual fund is no easy gig. Given the various rules that typically limit riskier investment--no shorting stocks, no leverage, no investment in micro-caps, mandated diversification--mutual fund managers can't hit the same returns as their hedge fund brethren.

But Janus' Andy Acker has been doing a good job with what he's got; his fund is up 22% through Sept. 24. That's better than the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI), which is up 20%. Few of his mutual fund manager colleagues could boast the same; almost all are underperforming that index. (The official benchmark for these funds isn't typically the volatile NBI; Janus Global Life Sciences Fund uses the S&P 500 as its primary benchmark.) The fund was up 14% in the first half, besting the NBI's 13% rise.

Andy Acker

Acker has managed the fund since 2007. He started out at Janus as an analyst in 1999. Acker has an MBA and an undergraduate biochemical sciences degree from Harvard University.

Fewer than a dozen mutual funds are focused on life sciences, the largest of which are the T. Rowe Price Health Sciences Fund, run by Taymour Tamaddon after the departure of Kris Jenner, and Fidelity Select Biotechnology Fund, headed up by Rajiv Kaul. They have $10.2 billion and $9.2 billion in assets, respectively. Despite their size and the deep investment in private biotech that Kaul has access to via venture arm Fidelity Biosciences, Acker's fund has narrowly outperformed them both year to date.

Show me the money: Given the need for stability, the fund's largest positions are all in big cap biopharma with a sprinkling of major insurers and medical device companies. Most of these have garnered double-digit returns so far this year.

The fund holds a handful of smaller positions that have more than doubled in value this year, including Puma Biotechnology ($PBYI), PTC Therapeutics ($PTCT) and GW Pharmaceuticals ($GWPH). It's had one that's lost more than half its value--Repros Therapeutics ($RPRX)--and a few that have fallen by about one-third: Stemline Therapeutics ($STML), Lipocine ($LPCN), GenMark Diagnostics and Clovis Oncology ($CLVS).

For more:
VC groups put up $165M for a trifecta of biotech rounds

Janus Global Life Sciences Fund
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