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Dendreon says Provenge sales tripled in 3Q

Wed, 11/02/2011 - 1:45pm
The Associated Press

Dendreon Corp. said Wednesday that third-quarter revenue from its prostate cancer therapy Provenge tripled, but it reported a larger loss than a year ago.

The Seattle company said it lost $147.1 million, or $1 per share, almost twice its loss of $79.3 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Dendreon said it lost 56 cents per share in the third quarter, also more than last year, when it said its adjusted loss amounted to 46 cents per share.

Its revenue more than tripled to $64.3 million from $20.2 million. Excluding discounts given to federal and state health programs like Medicaid, sales totaled $65.8 million.

But the results were better than analysts forecast on average.

Analysts expected Dendreon to report a loss of 69 cents per share and $62.6 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Provenge is a therapy designed to train a patient's immune system to fight prostate cancer. The FDA approved the drug in April 2010. Dendreon's manufacturing capacity has been coming online gradually, and Medicare agreed June 30 to cover the costly therapy.

The company once expected sales of Provenge to reach $350 million to $400 million in 2011. In August, it withdrew that forecast, saying it expects much slower growth and said concerns about government reimbursement are hurting sales. A round of treatment with Provenge costs $93,000.

In response to the disappointing sales, the company said in September that it would eliminate 500 jobs, or more than 25 percent of its work force, to help reduce costs.

The company did not forecast its 2012 earnings. Analysts currently expect Dendreon to report $372.9 million in revenue in 2012. Before the company withdrew its revenue guidance, they expected about $871 million.

Shares of Dendreon fell 18 cents to close Wednesday at $10.46 before the company reported its results. Afterward, in aftermarket trading, the stock lost $1.26, or 12 percent, to $9.20.

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