Billionaire Mori Arkin filed a 13D on Aclaris Therapeutics, disclosing an 8.02% stake in the biotech microcap.

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Source: Aclaris Therapeutics Inc. aclaristherapeuticsinc.gcs-web.com

Billionaire Mori Arkin filed a 13D on Aclaris Therapeutics (ACRS), a development stage microcap biotech company with a promising treatment for common warts. Arkin bought the shares through his personal partnership, “The 1999 Company.” In the activist filing he disclosed the following trades:

Purchase/SaleSharesPriceDate Running Total Stake
Purchase  603,0090.9779/6/19                   603,009
Purchase  78,0440.9969/9/19                   681,053
Purchase  77,7801.0299/13/19                   758,833
Sale-146,1511.999/17/19                   612,682
Purchase370,3441.0310/2/19                   983,026
Purchase1,117,7481.03210/3/19               2,100,774
Purchase19,5471.07610/4/19               2,120,321
Purchase758,6001.14910/7/19               2,878,921 Crosses 5% stake
Purchase18,4361.1510/8/19               2,897,357
Purchase58,9541.1510/9/19               2,956,311
Purchase208,3531.15710/10/19               3,164,664
Purchase155,0861.44710/15/19               3,319,750 8.02% stake

Investors with activist intentions who acquire 5% or more of a public company must file a 13D with the SEC within 10 calendar days of crossing the threshold. Arkin crossed 5% on October 7, and the activist filed the 13D on Oct. 15.

Aclaris’ topical solution to treat common warts showed positive phase 3 results

On Sept. 17, Aclaris announced positive results from a phase 3 clinical trial of A-101 45% topical solution, an investigational new drug for the treatment of common warts. The study, THWART-2, met primary and secondary endpoints, with the topical solution achieving clinically and statistically significant clearance of common warts as early as day 29, according to a press release.

Neal Walker, President and CEO of Aclaris had this to say:

“There are no FDA approved prescription treatments for common warts and we are excited by these data and look forward to the results of the second pivotal Phase 3 trial, THWART-1 (WART-301). “This treatment is self-administered twice a week for 8 weeks (a total of 16 applications) and we believe these results will be of interest to partners seeking to commercialize A-101 45% Topical Solution.”

In response to the news, ACRS popped from $1 to over $2. Arkin began buying the stock before the trial results were announced. When the stock ripped after the announcement, he sold 146,151 shares at $1.99 for a quick profit on part of his position. However, when ACRS drifted back toward a buck a couple weeks later, the investor began buying again. The average cost of his 2,707,068 share position disclosed in the 13D was $1.27.

Aclaris Therapeutics (ACRS) daily chart since 2015 IPO. Source: Interactive Brokers

Mori Arkin is a veteran of the pharmaceutical industry and controls Sol-Gel, a publicly-traded dermatology company.

In 1961, Arkin’s father founded Agis Industries, an Israeli pharmaceutical importer. Agis grew into a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer, and in 2005, Mori Arkin sold Agis to Perrigo for $818 million in cash and stock. Arkin is also the founder and chairman of Arkin Holdings, a pharmaceutical company. He is the co-founder and chairman of the Accelmed Fund. He owns over 65% of Sol-Gel Technologies (SLGL), a dermatology company.

Before Arkin filed a 13D on Aclaris, the investor’s most recent initial filing was a May 24, 2018 13G disclosing a 6.2% position in Invuity Inc (IVTY). Arkin bought 1.49 million shares at $3.00. He sold the entire stake on Sept. 13, 2018 at $7.35 — a 145% gain in less than four months. Arkin’s complete 13D/G trading history can be studied within 13D/G Search at WhaleWisdom.com.

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