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EW YORK — The founder of biotech’s largest and most powerful hedge fund has for years perpetuated a toxic culture of sexual harassment, former employees told STAT, routinely subjecting young female assistants to pornography in the workplace, lewd jokes, and pervasive sexist comments.

Five people who once worked at investing giant OrbiMed Advisors said Sam Isaly, the firm’s 72-year-old managing partner, kept a set of breast implants on his desk, palpating them like stress balls during idle conversation. He wantonly demeaned and verbally abused female employees, they said.

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  • In late 2015, Sientra, which Orbimed heavily invested in, crashed from low $20s to $3, on news that their manufacturing partner’s sales to Europe were suspended. The partner was found to have silicon particles on their breast implants. Sientra suspended their sales because reputation is everything in the breast implant business.

    Eventually, they were cleared —
    that’s what the implants see made of. Sientra stock price had started recovering as this fundamental truth was becoming more and more known.

    Sientra’s share price recently hit a high of $16+, although they price has recently cooled off somewhat.

    Orbimed, along with a number of other public and private funds (including a firefighters’ union IIRC) had sold off a majority of their shares in an irrational panic, resulting in the aforementioned share price collapse.

    This is why Sam Isaly keeps breast implants in his office.

  • I really think that Mr. Damien did not do justice to the character of Sam Isaly. I was an executive assistant at OrbiMed for over 2 years and worked closely with Mr. Isaly. His was always professional, and very supportive. The allegations of one unstable assistant should not be one’s take away about the kind of person that Sam is.

    • Funny, this guy’s name came up in a conversation I had recently with a woman job seeker who is in the hedge fund field who stated that she had been warned off OrbiMed by a couple of people who stated that ‘women don’t really count’ there. I’d never heard of the place until last weekend.

  • We think we know a person bc of how they publicly act on TV or at a conference. Almost idolize them. This is surprising to us all watching from a superficial level, but familiar to those closer to the matter. “This is so unsurprising” to them.

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