Skip to Main Content

Wall Street fund managers lightened their stock positions in Amarin (AMRN) during the fourth quarter — an unexpected downshift in sentiment that suggests some doubt about the company’s ability to transform its fish-oil derived heart drug into a commercial blockbuster.

The last three months of 2019 were good for Amarin, topped in December with a Food and Drug Administration decision to expand the approval of Vascepa. Amarin is now allowed to say the drug prevents heart attacks, strokes, and related health problems in people who are at high cardiovascular risk. The company believes Vascepa could now be prescribed to millions of Americans, leading to billions of dollars in new revenue.


But while Amarin was celebrating Vascepa’s regulatory success right before Christmas, professional investors were selling the stock. The number of Amarin shares owned by institutional investment funds dropped 15% in the fourth quarter. When looking at hedge funds only, Amarin ownership fell 24% in the same period, according to the equity research firm WhaleWisdom.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!