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Two Hedge Fund Billionaires Hedge their Bets on Regeneron as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Opens Regeneron Treatment Centers for COVID-19 Across Florida

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Regeneron Share Price Action, December 31, 2011 through August 24, 2021

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Ken Griffin, Founder, CEO and Majority Owner of Citadel

Ken Griffin, Founder, CEO and Majority Owner of Citadel

Billionaire hedge fund titan Ken Griffin’s Citadel Advisors has had a stake in the biotech company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, since at least December 31, 2011 – a decade ago. The same is true for billionaire Jeffrey Yass’ giant hedge fund, Susquehanna International Group. Both stakes have grown in size in recent years.

As of the most recent 13F SEC filing for Citadel Advisors for the quarter ending June 30, 2021, it and its related entities held a stake in Regeneron of long call options and common stock with a value of $189.7 million versus a short position of puts with a value of $188.5 million.

As of its filing with the SEC for the quarter ending June 30, 2021, Susquehanna International Group reported a long position of common shares and calls of 1,116,127 shares valued at $623.4 million versus a short position of puts representing 1,102,800 shares valued at $615.95 million.

It will be very interesting to see what both hedge funds report on their next 13F filings with the SEC for the quarter ending September 30, because something rather dramatic has happened since their last filing.

The Republican Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is attempting to save his political career as Florida registers an average daily COVID-19 new case count of 21,263 and average daily hospitalizations of 17,225 – the worst in the United States. DeSantis is also battling school districts throughout his state who are defying his orders not to impose mask mandates in schools and to leave the decision up to parents.

In an effort to get out in front of growing COVID-19 cases and overtaxed hospitals, on August 12 DeSantis embarked on a plan to open treatment centers in counties throughout the state to provide a monoclonal antibody treatment made by Regeneron. The company’s stock has climbed 10 percent since that announcement on August 12.

Since December 31, 2011, Regeneron is up 1000 percent versus 200 percent for the S&P 500 Index. Much of that move is explained by this reporting from Matt Herper and Ellie Kincaid in a July 26, 2018 article as Forbes. Herper and Kincaid write:

“Regeneron, like other biotech firms, spends giant sums to find new cures, and it charges accordingly. Its big seller, the eye drug Eylea, costs $11,000 a year per eye. A newer Regeneron product, Dupixent, treats skin rashes; that one can run $37,000 a year. A cholesterol treatment costs $14,000 a year. Even more insane: These eye-catching prices really are cheap by pharma standards.”

So far, DeSantis has opened 18 Regeneron treatment centers around the state, including at libraries, parks and fairgrounds. DeSantis is quick to point out that the treatments are free to patients. That’s because the federal government has already paid for the treatments, shelling out $2.625 billion for 1.25 million doses on January 12 of this year. That works out to a cost to the taxpayer of $2100 per dose. That $2.625 billion transaction occurred just 8 days before President Trump left office.

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