Alex Denner

Alex Denner

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.

Work Expereience

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. He served as the Managing Director at various Carl C. Icahn affiliated entities, including Icahn Partners LP. He served as Senior Managing Director at Icahn Capital LP., which he joined in 2006. Dr. Denner also served as Senior Managing Director at Icahn Enterprises, L.P. Infact, Alex Denner served as the Chief Executive Officer at ImClone Systems LLC until August 27, 2007. He has a strong background in biotechnology and biotechnology investments. He served as a Portfolio Manager, healthcare investments at Viking Global Investors L.P. from April 2005 to May 2006. He served as a Portfolio Manager of Healthcare and Biotechnology Mutual Funds at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1996. He served in a variety of positions at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and its predecessor companies including healthcare group head, healthcare sector leader and biotechnology research analyst. He worked at the MITRE Corporation and the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. Dr. Denner served as the Chairman of The Board at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from January 8, 2016 to February 16, 2017 and served as its Director from February 21, 2014 to February 16, 2017. He has been Director of Bioverativ Inc. since January 10, 2017. He has been an Independent Director of Biogen Inc. since June 2009. He serves as a Director at HyperMed, Inc. He has been an Independent Director of The Medicines Company since February 2, 2016 and has been its Chairman since June 2018. He served as the Non-Executive Chairman at Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. at Sigma-Tau Industrie Farmaceutiche Riunite S.p.A. from July 2009 to November 21, 2013. Dr. Denner served as a Director of VIVUS, Inc. since July 19, 2013 until November 19, 2015. He served as a Director of ImClone Systems LLC and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He served as a Director of Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc. from May 2009 to November 21, 2013. He served as a Director of Adventrx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (also known as Mast Therapeutics, Inc) from October 26, 2006 to October 16, 2009. He performed research in Biomedical Engineering at Yale University where he was awarded a Ph.D. degree. Dr. Denner received an M.S. and M.Phil. degrees from Yale University and B.S. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sarissa Capital Management

Sarissa Capital Management is based out of Greenwich, Connecticut and is run by Alex Denner. Sarissa Capital Management is a large advisory firm with 4 clients and discretionary assets under management (AUM) of $532,236,186 (Form ADV from 2018-03-29). Their last reported 13F filing for Q2 2018 included $498,793,000 in managed 13F securities and a top 10 holdings concentration of 100.0%. Sarissa Capital Management’s largest holding is BIOGEN INC with shares held of 461,858.

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?

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