Dendreon, Dendreon. Oh the storied Dendreon (DNDN) as they say. Dendreon is a biotechnology firm that develops, commercializes, and manufacturers therapies designated for cancer treatment. Its first product PROVENGE (sipuleucel-T) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April 2010.
Dendreon was once the darling of the biotech field, of late the divorcee. Its flagship prostate cancer product, Provenge, represented the rise to the next big thing status in 2009, but then all watched it fall from grace in 2012 when sales of did not materialize to their expectation.
Investors jumped ship in unprecedented levels. Its 52-week range of $3.69-$17.04 says much. Its current price of $5.14 ($5.45 earlier in the week before apparent profit taking) represents a noticeable climb it has made in the past several months from rock bottom of $3.69. So the question is why another look now? Paying attention to current news and upcoming reports may provide the answer.
The company issued a preliminary release of fourth quarter revenues including indications that Provenge sales were five percent higher than recent prior quarters. This is not an indication to celebrate about, but it does represent a trend headed in the right direction and could see the once much-promised drug hold its own and materialize into a very profitable revenue stream for the company.
Continued good news was that in December 2012, Dendreon announced that it had sold its New Jersey manufacturing plant to Novartis Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:NVS) for $43 million, a great injection for the company's balance sheet. Dendreon ended third quarter 2012 with $445.069 million in cash and related investments, and with operating cash burn totaling $154.582 million for the first nine months of 2012, all relatively positive indicators as management realigns the company towards the future.
A potential positive event is the company typically will release earnings in February and its positive fourth quarter results could be an indicator of stronger financials.
Dendreon was one of the first in its field to have a successful product approved by the FDA and its expectations were perhaps too high. But the company has shown longevity in its core business and ability to make Provenge work within the medical community at a time when government healthcare has been a changing situation. Company management appears to be making hard and sound decisions of late. Surveying the market landscape, the company is still ahead of most in its progress.
The company's stock appears to be heading in a good direction with plenty of room to uptick from its current position of roughly $5.25.