March 3 Biotechnology company Dendreon Corp
said it would start selling its prostate cancer vaccine
Provenge in Europe, sending its shares up nearly 15 percent in
Provenge, once touted as the next big thing in cancer
treatment, received European marketing approval in September for
use in advanced prostate cancer patients.
The company, which also reported better-than-expected
revenue for the fourth quarter, said on Monday that it would
launch the drug in Europe beginning with the United Kingdom and
Germany, but did not specify when that would happen.
Provenge, the company's sole product on the market, is
designed to reprogram the body's immune cells to attack advanced
prostate cancer cells.
The treatment has failed to live up to expectations due to
the company's limited manufacturing capability, quality issues,
uncertainty over insurance coverage and competition from rival
The emergence of easier-to-use rival drugs such as
Medivation Inc's Xtandi and Johnson & Johnson's
Zytiga has also put pressure on sales of the vaccine, approved
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010.
Dendreon reported revenue of $74.8 million for the quarter
ended Dec. 31, just above analysts' average estimate of $73
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death
in American men, behind lung cancer.
An estimated 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be
diagnosed in the country in 2014, according to the American
The Seattle-based company's stock was trading at $3.30
before the bell.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover and Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing
by Sriraj Kalluvila)