Following more than two years of relative invisibility, investor David Blech has resurfaced, making $5.8 million in open market purchases in GeneMedicine (GMED) over the last two months. The 30 transactions, totaling 907,000 shares, could help explain why GMED stock has outperformed the biotech market. GMED has surged 75 percent since Blech's first open market purchase. According to SEC filings, Blech began acquiring GMED shares on Dec. 13, when the price was $4.31. The stock closed Friday at $7.562, up $0.562 on the week.
Blech, who also holds a warrant to purchase 133,333 shares of GMED at $13.50, is the company's fourth largest shareholder. Partner Boehringer Mannheim - via its parent Corange - owns 10 percent (1.4 million shares). Last week Corange picked up an additional $4 million of the stock (see B3). Abingworth Management Ltd. owns 1.2 million shares, and the Biotechnology Investment Group LLC owns 1.1 million shares
In a separate transaction announced on Friday, Sunrise Securities placed 4 million Interferon Sciences (IFSC) shares held by Blech, his trusts and related parties with five undisclosed institutional investors. IFSC closed down $0.09 to $2.44, but the sale helped clear up the overhang in the stock caused by Blech's ownership, as he had pledged certain of the shares to Citibank as collateral (see BioCentury April 18, 1994).
Capital woes led to the widely publicized closure of