Perceiving is believing

July 01, 2011  


Joe Edelman says investor biases create opportunities for his health care and biotech fund, Perceptive Advisors

By Irwin Speizer

  
  Joe Edelman: If you don’t know who the sucker is, it is probably you (Photographs by Michael Rubenstein)
In his first job as a junior biotech analyst in a small New York brokerage house, Joe Edelman spotted a company he was convinced would self-destruct. Cambridge BioScience of Worcester, Mass., had developed a five-minute AIDS test in the late 1980s that wowed other analysts, who projected strong sales for the product. Buy this stock, they recommended.

Edelman disagreed. He detected flaws in the company’s clinical trials serious enough to raise questions about how accurately the product could predict the presence of the AIDS virus. Doctors would be reluctant to use it, and sales would not materialize, he decided. And since the company had pinned its future on the AIDS test, the stock was a dog that should be sold immediately, he concluded.

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