Biotech Dendreon, the maker of prostate cancer vaccine Provenge, continues to struggle with earnings even after undertaking a restructuring program which included unloading one of its manufacturing plants.
ISI Group's Mark Schoenebaum has been one of the few optimists when it comes to the biotech's struggle to sell Provenge. But even Schoenebaum couldn't stay upbeat in the face of Dendreon's first-quarter numbers for Provenge, which has proved a tough sell in the prostate cancer market. And Schoenebaum responded with a remarkable mea culpa for a Wall Street analyst. Read more >>
Dendreon, still trying to claw its way back to financial security, has found a buyer for its Provenge manufacturing plant in New Jersey. Novartis has agreed to buy the facility for $43 million and take on 100 of its employees.
More than two years ago Oxford BioMedica put out the word that the FDA had cleared a Phase II study for its troubled program for TroVax, an immunotherapy to be tested in 80 patients suffering from hormone resistant prostate cancer. For Oxford, the mid-stage study was a key part of its comeback strategy for TroVax, which had already failed a study for renal cancer in 2008.
Dietmar Hopp's investment group, dievini Hopp BioTech Holding, is injecting a whopping $104 million into CureVac, which is preparing new trials for a pair of RNA programs that target prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.
Medivation has added another set of stellar data on enzalutamide, its promising prostate cancer treatment now up for a priority review at the FDA. New late-stage results published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate that advanced stage, therapy-resistant patients in the drug arm survived 5 months longer than the control group.
Dendreon ($DNDN) CEO John Johnson says the company is setting a new course to profitability. It just doesn't include its New Jersey manufacturing plant and 600 employees company wide.
As sales of Provenge continued to disappoint in the first half of the year, Dendreon's new CEO opted to trigger another big restructuring at the Seattle-based biotech, with plans to cut 600 jobs and shutter one of its three manufacturing sites in an effort to slash his way to profitability.
Now that Amylin and Human Genome Sciences have dickered their way to a buyout deal, you can expect to see plenty of more rumors and insider stories about the next biotech companies likely to get an offer.
John Johnson has a good reason today to be thankful for his new job at Dendreon: He won't have to face the music at Savient.