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EPIC CIR
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FCA short positions table: more bad news for Woodford ahead?

I have been taking a look through the FCA table of registered short positions, following my piece on Interserve of Friday. I don’t offer anything exhaustive, but the largest individual short positions interested me as they are as high as 5.42% of the capital. That’s quite a bet. Oh, and just as it happens, Neil Woodford features with two of them. They are also all stocks where we at ShareProphets have been bearish.

EPIC CIR
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Does Neil Woodford really deserve a halo - is Circassia the biggest dog in his funds?

If you read the bent, freebie is our middle name, personal financie columnists in the deadwood press, fund manager Neil Woodford walks on water. I disagree and have noted before, that, maybe, after three dismal years, others are starting to see the light.  But, with assistance from a leading broker, how about we have a real look at the Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT) but also at the sort of dogs Neil ifalls in love with.

EPIC CIR
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Circassia Pharmaceuticals - A Husk with a Chunk of Cash

Shares in Circassia Pharmaceuticals (CIR) have flatlined since the big sneeze last June when the company reported the failure of its cat allergy trials. Once close to a market value of £1 billion this company has proved to be the biggest ramp in the UK Biotech sector in recent years, supported by the bluebloods of JP Morgan Cazenove and, of course, Neil Woodford.

EPIC CIR
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Circassia shares crash on cat trial failure - the latest Neil Woodford Biotech disaster

Hats off to veteran journalist Tim Blackstone who called Circassia (CIR) as a short with a £900 million market cap on January 16 this year HERE. Today the shares have crashed by 64% to 98.5p giving it a market cap of just £261 million. Tim Blackstone dared to go up against Neil Woodford with this call as he is the largest shareholder. It looks like another biotech disaster for Woodie. 

EPIC CIR
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Letting the Cat Out of the Bag: Circassia is a short

In the mid nineties the flagship of UK biotech was British Biotech a constituent of the FTSE 100 share index with a valuation of £1.5 billion. The company enjoyed the support of the leading healthcare analyst, Dr Ian White, and rode high on a supposed inhibitor for cancer called marimastat. In my swansong as a financial journalist I wrote a devastating critique in the Mail on Sunday in the summer of 1996 with on the record quotes from leading oncologists in Edinburgh and London. Subsequent investigations on both sides of the Atlantic found that the company “had wilfully misled the public about the progress of marimastat”. British Biotech collapsed.

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