Dendreon CEO cashes in $28.8M of shares on Provenge OK

Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) CEO Mitchell Gold had a busy day last Thursday, when the FDA capped the developer's 15-year quest with an approval of the revolutionary new prostate cancer vaccine Provenge. Just hours after the approval sent the company's stock up sharply higher, following months of steadily rising prices, Gold sold off more than $28 million in newly optioned shares.

That afternoon he exercised his options on 270,625 shares for anywhere from $4.41 to $9.77 and sold them for $51.01. The next day he auctioned another 284,262 shares. Gold's cost: $2,216,608. And he garnered $28,878,927.

He might be regretting that he didn't wait until Monday, though, when Dendreon's share price managed to break the $55 mark. But Gold has been accumulating options through plenty of lean years. Just a little more than a year ago his options were worthless, with the stock trading at a low of $2.61. And he wasn't the only insider to take advantage of the big stock price, either. Richard F. Hamm Jr., senior vice president and general counsel, sold 264,960 shares. Gregory T. Schiffman, chief financial officer, sold 54,125 shares and Director Susan B. Bayh exercised options on $56,550 in shares.

Gold hasn't cashed in all his chips, though. The CEO still has 224,359 shares in his pocket.

- here's the story from the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)