Top 10 Series: Ascendis Pharma

Jason Myhre
May 7, 2019 | 4 min read

Eventide investors understand the fundamental question of investing, “What kind of companies do I want to own?” To better understand the kinds of companies you can own and specific ways they are working to create value for society, customers, employees, and other key stakeholders, check out the second company in our current Top 10* series:


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Company Name: Ascendis Pharma
Weight: 3.97% of Eventide Gilead (#2 of top 10 holdings)
Theme: Pediatric and Orphan Diseases

Children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) experience a problem where their bodies do not produce enough growth hormone needed to grow to their full potential. This disorder is detected when they are just infants, as height/weight trajectories fall below normal ranges. The standard of care for GHD for over 30 years has been to supply children with recombinant (or man-made) growth hormone that is identical to that produced in the body. This allows PODschildren with GHD to reach their full potential stature. While effective, the treatment requires daily injections for as long as from infancy to puberty (roughly from age <1 to 17). Because of the pain of the injections and demanding daily schedule, two out of three patients miss more than one dose weekly. And predictably, missing doses is associated with children not reaching their full potential height. Ascendis Pharma is developing a novel way to make life better for these children and their parents. By linking the hormone to a safe organic polymer, they have found a way to extend the release of the hormone in the body, thereby changing the regime to only once weekly. This makes treatment much more manageable for families, and in early clinical outcomes, has also shown improved growth. (Ascendis Pharma is based in Denmark.)

Don't want to wait for the next post? To read about all ten companies in this series, check out the Eventide Gilead Portfolio Impact Highlights here:

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*A "Top 10" series is a series of articles based on top 10 holdings of a fund by weight.

Holdings percentages are based on net assets as of December 31, 2018, selected based on portfolio weight. The opinions expressed herein are those of the fund’s investment team as of December 31, 2018, and subject to change.Reliance upon the views expressed herein is at the sole discretion of the reader. Holdings can change at any time and should not be considered investment advice. Historical holdings are provided for informational purposes to help explain Eventide's values-based investment process.  Eventide uses its trademark (“Investing that makes the world rejoice®”) in a figurative manner to help explain its focus on serving investors by helping to improve the world.

Mutual funds involve risk including the possible loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The fund can invest in smaller-sized companies which may experience higher failure rates than larger companies and normally have a lower trading volume than larger companies. The fund’s ethical values screening criteria could cause it to under perform similar funds that do not have such screening criteria. The fund can have risk associated with the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry in which these companies may be heavily dependent on clinical trials with uncertain outcomes and decisions made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Companies in the technology industries have different risks including but not limited to products becoming obsolete, and entrance of competing products. Companies in the Industrials sector carry various risks including, but not limited to, risk related to debt loads and intense competition. The fund can have risk related to option investing. There are special risks associated with investments in foreign companies including exposure to currency fluctuations, less efficient trading markets, political instability and differing auditing and legal standards. The fund can invest in private companies. Private investments include various risks including but not limited to lack of liquidity, capital commitment risk, and valuation risk. Private companies may not be financially profitable and have uncertain futures, subjecting them to additional risks.

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4631-NLD-4/26/2019  

Topic(s): Stories

Jason Myhre
Jason Myhre

Jason serves as Director of Marketing at Eventide. He is responsible for leading Eventide’s brand strategy, marketing, and corporate communications.