Soros fund story updated for key drug trial, corrected for gold holdings)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --

Soros Fund Management, the fund management arm of billionaire investor George Soros, bulked up on health care and biotechnology in the third quarter, according to the hedge fund manager's quarterly filing of portfolio holdings, released after the market close on Monday.


At the same time, the famed hedge fund manager notably shifted away from one of his favorite investments, the SPDR Gold Trust.

The biggest new addition to the Soros portfolio, on a percentage-of-portfolio basis, was biotechnology play Dendreon ( DNDN).

Soros' big bet on Dendreon came ahead of a key government vote on the company's sole drug this week. An advisory panel is set to vote on Wednesday on whether there is enough evidence to support the claim that Dendreon's Provenge extends life in prostate cancer patients and should be covered by Medicare. Dendreon shares bottomed out in July after it became unclear whether Medicare would pay for the drug use in prostate cancer patients. The drug first became available in the U.S. in April. Medicare sales would generate $1.7 billion a year for Dendreon by 2014, and approval by Medicare could lead to a major Dendreon share rally.

>>View George Soros' Portfolio

Medical and pharmaceutical stocks were also among Soros' favorites in the third quarter.

Salix Pharmaceuticals ( SLXP) was among the Top 10 new positions added by Soros in the past quarter. Medical device maker Mindray Medical ( MR) was also among the biggest new positions added by Soros.

Teva Pharmaceutical ( TEVA) was the biggest position increase among existing Soros investments.

Soros was also playing the health care sector as a whole in the third quarter, with the SPDR Health Care ( XLV - Get Report) also among the biggest new additions to the Soros portfolio.

One of the biggest position decreases for the Soros funds in the third quarter was in the SPDR Gold. Soros increased his stake in the iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) at the same time. The move out of SPDR Gold was the third biggest decrease for Soros' funds, following CVS Caremark ( CVS) and Consol Energy ( CNX).

Barrick Gold ( ABX) and Newmont Mining ( NEM) were also among the Top 10 position decreases for Soros in the past quarter.

Soros also entirely sold off stakes in three mining companies: Ivanhoe Mines ( IVN), Golden Star Resources ( GSS) and Gold Fields ( GFI).

Soros also sold out of some other notable stocks in the third quarter outside the mining sector, including AMR Corp. ( AMR), Best Buy ( BBY) and International Paper ( IP).

Among notable stocks in which Soros increased exposure in the third quarter were energy sector plays, with Interoil ( IOC) and Plains Exploration ( PXP) being the largest position increases for the Soros hedge funds after Teva.

Among notable stocks that have been market dogs where Soros placed a larger bet in the third quarter was Monsanto ( MON).

The Top 10 largest new positions for Soros included retail play Coach ( COH) and Potash ( POT).

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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