Shares of Dendreon Corp. surged Thursday after the company said sales of its prostate-cancer therapy Provenge continued to grow in the fourth quarter.
Dendreon said sales of Provenge rose to $82 million in the fourth quarter. FactSet reports that analysts expected Dendreon to report $72 million in total revenue for the fourth quarter. Shares of the company advanced $3.36, or 44.2 percent, to $10.96 in morning trading.
The company said its revenue from Provenge rose 25 percent compared to the third quarter. The sales grew 28 percent in the third quarter, and Dendreon said Thursday that it continues to expect "modest quarter-over-quarter growth" in sales.
Dendreon reported $228 million in Provenge revenue in 2011. That's far below its previous forecast of $350 million to $400 million, but demand for Provenge proved to be weaker than expected. A round of treatment with Provenge costs $93,000, and Medicare conducted a long review of the drug before deciding to cover it in June.
Provenge is used as a treatment for prostate cancer that has not responded to previous therapies. The drug is designed to train a patient's immune system to fight the cancer. It was approved in April 2010, and it is the company's only marketed product.
Analysts expect Dendreon's revenue to grow to $368.7 million in 2012.