5 investors betting big on cassava stocks (SAVA)

Source: Postmodern Studio /

Shares of Cassava Science (NASDAQ:SAVA) are down more than 15% after the 35% gain recorded the previous day. Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it had closed its case on cassava. Last November, the SEC opened an investigation into the company after two doctors claimed its research into the experimental Alzheimer’s drug Simufilam had been manipulated using software like Photoshop. The doctors have filed a petition with the Food and Health Administration (FDA), asking the agency to suspend clinical trials of the drug. They also disclosed a short position in SAVA stock. At the time, CEO Remi Barbier denied the allegations and called the petition “zero evidence, zero credible evidence, zero evidence.”

The FDA later denied the petition, saying any enforcement powers were outside the FDA’s citizen petition procedures. This allowed Simufilam’s trials to continue.

However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) began investigating Cassava in July based on the same charges as the two doctors. The DOJ investigation also examines allegations that Cassava misled investors and customers. Again, Cassava denied the charges and also said she had not received any charges since the SEC investigation began. In addition, the company announced that no officer or director had sold shares of SAVA in over a decade, while short sellers reportedly made profits of over $100 million.

Unlike the SEC case, the DOJ investigation is still ongoing.

Simufilam is currently in two Phase 3 clinical trials. Trial results are expected to be published in mid-2024.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the investors who are betting big on the success of the Alzheimer’s drug.

5 investors are betting big on SAVA shares

Tracking institutional ownership is important because these large investors provide liquidity and price support for stocks. During the second quarter, 143 13F filers reported owning SAVA, down 15 funds from the previous quarter. Moreover, the institutional put/call ratio stands at 0.99, against 1.56 in the first quarter. This means that institutions hold roughly the same number of call options against Cassava as put options. So who are the five biggest shareholders?

  1. black rock (NYSE:noir): 2.66 million shares. BlackRock sold 42,161 shares during the second quarter.
  2. Avant-garde: 2.04 million shares. Vanguard bought 72,983 shares during the second quarter.
  3. State Street (NYSE:STT): 1 million shares. State Street sold 53,888 shares during the second quarter.
  4. Geode Capital Management: 673,542 shares. Geode purchased 27,695 shares during the second quarter.
  5. Rémi Barbier, CEO: 516,230 shares. Barbier’s position is accurate as of the fourth quarter of 2020.

At the date of publication, Eddie Pan held (neither directly nor indirectly) any position in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, subject to Publication guidelines.

Eddie Pan specializes in institutional investments and insider trading. He writes for InvestorPlace’s Today’s Market team, which focuses on the latest news on popular stocks.


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