Dendreon Gives Update on Clinical Trials of Prostate Cancer Drug

As Luke reported a couple weeks ago, Seattle-based Dendreon is in the midst of a crucial clinical trial of its cancer drug, Provenge, against prostate cancer. Interim results from 500 patients in the trial, called Impact, are expected in October.

In a conference call this afternoon, Dendreon announced its second-quarter 2008 financial stats, as well as giving a brief update on two other, smaller clinical trials of Provenge. “We’re continuing to make progress on multiple fronts, including our pipeline,” said CEO Mitchell Gold. “Our foremost priority remains advancing Provenge through the approval process.” Indeed, if the drug goes on to gain FDA approval and takes off, the commercialization plan calls for building a sales team in the U.S. and an outside partnership to distribute the drug abroad, said Gold.

Dendreon has just begun enrolling patients in its NeoACT trial, which will involve 40 patients at the University of California, San Francisco, with localized prostate cancer who are scheduled to undergo a prostatectomy. The clinical trial “provides us with an opportunity to look directly at the organ, the prostate, and its immunotherapy response,” said David Urdal, Dendreon’s chief scientific officer.

Another clinical trial of Provenge, called ProACT, is expected to begin later this month. It is a multi-center trial involving about 120 patients with metastatic prostate cancer. The goal, said Dendreon, is to gain new scientific insight into Provenge, and gauge its impact on patients.

In a statement, Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) reported a Q2 loss of $16.5 million (18 cents per share), and its quarterly revenue dropped to $26,000 from $523,000 in Q2 of 2007. The company said it holds $127.3 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments, including $46 million raised in a stock offering in April.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] Follow @gthuang

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