Ebb & Flow

Two of the biggest holders of Amylin stock reduced their positions on Aug. 27, according to SEC filings last Friday. The 27th was the day after Amylin disclosed four additional deaths among diabetes patients who had taken Byetta at some point and subsequently had developed pancreatitis, but whose deaths the company said did not appear to be "directly attributable" to the disease.

Prior to that, on Aug. 18, FDA alerted healthcare professionals of six new reports of acute hemorrhagic or necrotizing pancreatitis, including two deaths, in patients taking Byetta.

Amylin (NASDAQ:AMLN) has shed $13.10 (38%) to $21.11 since Aug. 15, the last trading day before FDA's disclosures.

Eastbourne Capital Management sold 6 million shares, leaving it with 17.2 million shares, but reducing its stake from 16.8% to 12.5%. The firm remains Amylin's largest stockholder.

The sale will terminate a standstill agreement by pushing Eastbourne's portion of shares outstanding below 15%. That will allow the firm to discuss ideas on how Amylin "may be able to maximize product sales and development and generally to enhance shareholder value," according to the SEC filing.

Amylin and Eastbourne agreed on the standstill in March to keep the firm from preventing or artificially inflating the value of any potential acquisition. It requires that for shares held in excess of 15%, Eastbourne would have had to vote in accordance with a decision of Amylin's board. The firm had also agreed to keep its ownership to less than 20%.

Black Bear Offshore Master Fund, advised by Eastbourne, also reduced its Amylin holdings to 12.1 million shares (8.8%) from 16.3 million (11.9%).

The average sale price was $21.26 a share for both firms. Eastbourne's disgorged stake was worth $128.1 million, while Black Bear's was $89.1 million.

More on pancreatitis

Meanwhile, Amylin CFO Mark Foletta told investors at the NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry conference last Thursday that an undisclosed insurance carrier had perused its own patient database and had told the company it had found "no difference" in the rate of pancreatitis between diabetics on

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