Here is something interesting from DNDN, that makes me hopeful. I posted response to the last S.A. article about DNDN and received a personalized useful response. I think that deserves sharing.
First my message, it's a bit long, zip forward if you just want to see their reply.
Hi, I am a shareholder since 2011. I believed in the potential of your company and your product. I am long on DNDN, and it was not a small position. Today I am only hanging on to the remaining 10% of the value because I already lost 90% anyway.
I feel that Dendreon is doing too little to build patient and physician confidence which shows in your quarter over quarter decline in sales. This is very worrisome.
The question in the minds of physicians and patients and shareholders is: EFFICACY. Does this stuff work? I don't care if Marie Huber's article can be debunked if we construct a mere clever argument. By now you have been in contact with far more patients than the initial clinical trial. By now you should have individual success stories. Anecdotal evidence to put out there. And more ...
I don't see Dendreon fighting this battle at all, and that makes me worried. If I had confidence in new efficacy data, I would buy loads more right now. But I can not dispel my nagging doubt over this: Dendreon may yet be debunked as snake-oil in the real world.
Your steep decline in sales on the academic side makes me very worried in that regard and management's explanation for it I find flimsy. Why aren't you addressing physician's reasonable concerns with reasonable new data?
I am a MD, been 14 years around medical research and medical data, electronic medical record data and research data. I just can't fathom why you are not gathering and putting out more data to instill confidence? You should track the results of every single patient who receives the product. It is normal in childhood cancer that every patient is enrolled in clinical trials that are going on for many years. Following up on these Provenge patients in a modestly rigorous way would cost you little and provide huge marketing benefits. In fact, it has been argued for a very long time that treatments need to be studied at large out in the field, not just in these small clinical trials. Why isn't Dendreon doing that?
Why don't you at least reap some benefit from the complicated product delivery which is otherwise only hurting investor confidence? You already HAVE individual workflows in place, to handle the blood of every single patient. Why don't you make a simple clinical trial out of this? What is hard about enrolling all patients in a simple trial and following up on their progress?
The life of this company depends on this one product success, coming up with confidence-inducing data shouldn't be so hard -- if the product works.
Now here came the reply, only a few days later:
Thank you for your note and sharing your thoughts regarding Dendreon. We are always open to the views of our stockholders and we welcome your opinions. Dendreon is conducting a registry of at least 1500 patients who are receiving commercial Provenge. In addition to safety information, the registry will collect information on subsequent therapies, PSA values and overall survival. A separate protocol will collect blood samples for immune monitoring on a subset of patients. The registry will therefore provide insights into the outcome of patients in the real-world setting. We have been hearing anecdotes of patients with positive outcomes and investigators are submitting some of these for presentation and publication. In addition, a number of investigator initiated trials are commencing which will study Provenge in a variety of settings, including in combination with other biologic agents.
We appreciate your ongoing support as a shareholder!
I find that consoling. I think they could do a much better job at "selling" this activity to the public, beef up their web page. There is many a research project run by academics that have more thorough web pages. But, to me, that neglect isn't necessarily bad, if they were selling snakeoil they would focus more on their presentation of smoke and mirrors. It seems they are working the actual operation, so, it all hinges on their efficacy and with the data being collected, hopefully there will be some good news published over 2013. All that makes me modestly hopeful, I might even load some more shares on in the next dip to dilute my loss.
Disclosure: I am long DNDN.