You know a company isn't in a good place when investors enthusiastically greet an event that could cause its demise. That's exactly what happened to Dendreon
The biotech has been a house of pain for investors over the past year, yet shares rose nearly 3% when Johnson & Johnson
It's always better to have a monopoly on treatment, but even if the window has closed a little, there remains a large enough opening for Provenge to be a success. Sure, Zytiga could provide an alternative to doctors looking to avoid Provenge's high costs and unfamiliarity. However, the real binary event for Dendreon is how Provenge performs with Zytiga, not against it. The biotech is currently running a trial testing the two drugs in concert, and new CEO John Johnson has clearly hitched his wagon to this thesis. In a recent shareholder meeting, he acknowledged that the company had been "overly optimistic" in the past, unsurprisingly reiterated his belief in Provenge's potential, and stated that "physicians will layer on therapies." That statement potentially also holds true for Medivation's
Provenge's advantage as a combo drug is its unique mechanism. The future of prostate cancer treatment could be a cocktail approach similar to what we see in HIV and hepatitis C. Next-generation drugs by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead
If improved efficacy is the ultimate outcome, then Dendreon should welcome newcomers to the space, including Exelixis'
An expanded indication for Zytiga won't determine the fate of Provenge. The real binary event spelling out the future of the biotech are results from the phase 2 trial testing those two drugs concurrently.
Health-care investors are always looking for the next big breakthrough, and Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner recently identified a small-cap health-care company that's poised for monster returns. To uncover this top pick today, enjoy the special free report: "Discover the Next Rule-Breaking Multibagger." Don't miss out on this limited-time offer and your opportunity to discover this game-changing company before the market does. Access your report -- it's totally free.
David Williamson owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and Dendreon, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Dendreon, Exelixis, and Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson, Gilead Sciences, Exelixis, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals and creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.