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.
Shareholders knew Dendreon had debt problems. What they did not know until Monday was that the cancer vaccine maker is considering moves that could leave them empty-handed.
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.
While Dendreon fell well short of serving as a good example of how cancer vaccine businesses can succeed on the public markets, it did at least provide a horrible warning of what can go wrong. Argos Therapeutics is undeterred though and has revived its IPO plans.