Dr. Alex John Denner
Dr. Alex John Denner, Ph.D., has been investing in health-care companies for the past two decades. In 2013 he founded Sarissa Capital Management LP located in Greenwich Connecticut, an investment fund, to capitalize on the compelling opportunities for positive shareholder activism created by the unique dynamics of the health-care sector. Sarissa focuses on improving the strategies of health-care companies to enhance shareholder value.
Alex Denner has extensive experience overseeing the operations and research and development of biopharmaceutical companies and evaluating corporate governance matters. He also has extensive experience as an investor, particularly with respect to healthcare companies and possesses broad life sciences industry knowledge.
Sarissa Capital Management
Hedge Fund Operator
Carl Icahn received most of the Money, and Credit created by his high-profile biotech raiding parties. But it was Alex Denner that is credited as the power behind the throne, a key player in the turnaround story of several top life sciences companies and a powerhouse figure promising to start stealing his own headlines now that he’s jumped Icahn’s ship to helm his own hedge fund.
Alex and Carl came together at ImClone after both recognized the substantial amount of cash that could be made by turning around the troubled company after CEO Sam Waksal wound up in prison after the notorious insider trading scandal. Denner headed the executive committee that held the wheel, pushing a lead experimental drug–ramucirumab–from Phase I right into late-stage studies. And he helped engineer the $6.5 billion sale to Eli Lilly ($LLY) when everyone could focus on the value of Erbitux and its experimental cancer treatments.
Working directly under Icahn, it was Alex Denner who played the good cop to Icahn’s bad cop at Genzyme, where he made friends and influenced the raider’s enemies. In the end he was the one that got the cheers when Sanofi stepped up with a $20 billion buyout. And while he may never make Jim Mullen’s Annual Christmas card list after playing the troublemaker on Biogen Idec’s ($BIIB) board, who can ignore the buoyant honeymoon period that Biogen has enjoyed since the palace coup that led George Scangos into the top office?
Combining knowledge of the business with a clear connection to the science involved, Denner has created the template for the modern-day biotech turnaround story.
“Alex actually understands the science–and how to build that into a business,” ex-con and ImClone founder Sam Waksal told Bloomberg. “When a company is broken, he knows what should be done to fix it.”
As an inside player, few can compare to Denner. The big question now is where he plans to play next. And who will follow his game book on their own deals?