On August 3, 2011, Dendreon shocked the biotech world by posting weak sales and forecasts for its cancer vaccine Provenge. The numbers blindsided investors, triggering a 64% collapse in Dendreon's share price and spreading panic through the biotech market. But, if U.S. law enforcement has it right, the news came as no surprise to one trader: Vitaly Korchevsky.
In January, Germany's cost watchdog decided that Dendreon's--now Valeant's--Provenge had no added benefit for men with metastatic prostate cancer. But now, it's changing its tune.
Valeant only just picked up Provenge and other assets from bankrupt Dendreon, but it's already trumpeting positive preliminary data for the flailing cancer vaccine. On Wednesday, it announced Phase II results showing that the immune response from Provenge continues two years after biochemically recurrent prostate cancer patients complete treatment.
It's official: Valeant will be the new owner of Dendreon's Provenge.
Bankrupt Dendreon has finally found a taker for its flailing cancer vaccine, Provenge. It seems serial acquirer Valeant is ready to foray into oncology--and thinks it can turn the therapy around.
Ever since Dendreon's lackluster Provenge launch, the Washington-based biotech's failures have cast a pall over the troubled cancer vaccine field. And the company's bankruptcy won't help with that.
A couple of years ago, Dendreon sold off a manufacturing plant to Novartis for $40 million-plus to raise some quick cash. Now, someone can pick up its two remaining manufacturing facilities, a logistics center and headquarters in Seattle and its one-time promising drug, Provenge, for as little as $275 million.
The SEC is investigating whether officials at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services tipped off a policy research group about the agency's review of Dendreon's cancer vaccine, Provenge, The Wall Street Journal reports.
When Dendreon was trying to bring its cancer vaccine Provenge to market, many doubted whether it could overcome the associated manufacturing and logistical hurdles. Ultimately Dendreon did better than some expected, but not as well as it hoped. And the same problems that made the cost of producing and shipping Provenge a burden for Dendreon still hang over the sector.
Things haven't been pretty for Dendreon since its highly anticipated cancer vaccine Provenge stumbled out of the gate. Now that disappointing sales, increased competition and cost-control struggles have taken their toll, the Seattle-based company is up against a mountain of debt. But CEO John Johnson won't be around to help right the company's course.