Dendreon Corp. 's ( DNDN ) share price jumped more than 11% on Oct 28, 2013 to end the day's trading at $2.81 after a Bloomberg report said that Dendreon is putting itself up for sale. Dendreon, with a market cap of over $429 million, is said to be working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) to find suitable buyers.
Dendreon has been struggling with its sole marketed product, Provenge. The drug was approved in the U.S. for treating advanced prostate cancer in May 2010. Provenge has performed below expectations since its launch. Sales of the drug declined 8.4% to $73.3 million in the second quarter of 2013.
Provenge's performance was primarily affected by the entrance of Johnson & Johnson 's ( JNJ ) Zytiga in the prostate cancer market. Zytiga, launched in the second quarter of 2011, has been putting in an impressive performance. Moreover, Dendreon expects that 2013 Provenge sales would fall short of the 2012 sales figure of $325.3 million.
Last month Provenge was approved in the EU for the treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic (non-visceral) castrate resistant prostate cancer in adults. Chemotherapy is not yet clinically indicated for these patients.
At present Dendreon is entirely dependent on Provenge for growth. The company lacks a decent pipeline with none of its candidates likely to hit the market in the near future.
Dendreon carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Meanwhile companies such as Actelion Ltd. ( ALIOF ) look better positioned with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Johnson & Johnson also looks attractive with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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