There is a heck of a lot of buzz around the small biotech Dendreon
Dendreon's lead drug, Provenge, is currently in phase 3 development for treating patients with prostate cancer. Provenge is not a traditional drug; it is a vaccine that stimulates the immune system to attack and wipe out cancer cells. That is a novel and unproven method of treating cancer. A cancer vaccine has yet to be approved by the FDA, though Provenge certainly could be the first.
There is reason to be optimistic. Back in February, Dendreon reported that Provenge increased patient survival by 4.5 months compared to a placebo. This Saturday at the ASCO meeting, additional data from this study will be presented, including previously undisclosed results.
While the data at the ASCO meeting could be interesting, the big event in the near term will be the release of Provenge survival data from a second study this summer. Even though this is a small study, if this data is in line with what has been previously reported, Provenge will be looking good. This event should indicate when Provenge could be approved. Or it may not. There are no certainties in drug development, so ultimately, we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.
For additional articles on the biotech industry, see:
- Thanks for the Ride, Transkaryotic
- A Biotech Value Play
- Has Elan Been KO'd?
- Pfizer Pfaces Its Pfuture
- The Best Company I've Never Owned
Will Dendreon turn out to be a Rule Breaker, joining the other biotechs that have already been highlighted in the newsletter? To find out, sign up for a free no-obligation trial today.