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Achillion Pharma Worthy of New Look

(For the record, I'm not crazy about owning Abbott given the company's complex hepatitis C regimen, recent non-hepatits C R&D stumbles, and the uncertainty from the impending therapeutics business spinoff.)

I would be remiss to not mention the abrupt mid-June departure of Achillion's Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Olek, which I consider a minor corporate red flag. The company's SEC Form 8-K filing strongly indicates Olek was fired, but the reasons for her dismissal remain unclear. That alone isn't a reason not to own the stock, but it's something about which I would like more information.

Despite my cautious optimism, let me be clear: Achillion seems like a reasonable long investment over the intermediate-term, but I still expect the long-term commercial opportunity in hepatitis C to be a major disappointment. So dip your toe in Achillion, but size the position wisely. There are still sharks in the water.

Sadeghi has no position in Achillion or other stocks mentioned in this column.

Nathan Sadeghi-Nejad has 15 years experience as a professional health-care investor, most recently as a sector head for Highside Capital. He has worked on the sell side (with independent research boutiques Sturza's Medical Research and Avalon Research) and the buyside (at Kilkenny Capital prior to Highside). Sadeghi-Nejad is a graduate of Columbia University and lives in New York. You can follow him on Twitter @natesadeghi.
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