Woodford’s Patient Capital hit by allergy drug disappointment

Woodford-Neil-700x450.jpgWoodford’s Patient Capital trust’s performance was hit by “disappointing” trial data from holding vaccine provider Circassia.

In the trust’s monthly update, Mitchell Fraser-Jones, head of investment at Woodford Investment Management, says the firm was the “most significant negative contributor” to performance for the month.

“In a month dominated by the EU referendum, global financial markets experienced considerable volatility with London as epicentre. The Woodford Patient Capital Trust portfolio did not escape unscathed in these conditions with its net asset value suffering a decline during June,” says the update from the firm.

The Patient Capital share price of the fund was 84.1p at the end of June, compared to 97.15p at the end of May, representing a 13.5 per cent fall.

Circassia, which was working on a vaccine for cat allergy sufferers, saw disappointing trial data released, which showed the drug had a similar affect as a placebo. The Woodford Equity Income fund also holds the stock.

“We share the management team’s clear disappointment at this development but remain supportive shareholders. It is far too early to conclude that there is no value in the allergy technology platform,” the statement says.

“Elsewhere, shares in companies such as Oxford Pharmascience, ReNeuron and Vernalis also declined but there was nothing newsworthy to justify the moves. Sometimes, the share prices of quoted early-stage businesses will be volatile and they may sell off in small volume for no fundamental reason,” says Fraser-Jones.

Bright spots for the trust include Mereo Biopharma, which made it market debut, and Theravance Biopharma, which saw a share price rise after positive results from a study.

The firm added to its Prothena and 4D Pharma holdings during the month, and initiated a new position in VCT company Draper Esprit, which had its IPO in June. The trust also bought into polymer technology business Revolymer, which had a share placing.