Dendreon rises as company plans EU Provenge launch

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm •  Published: March 3, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Dendreon surged Monday after the company said it will start making its prostate cancer therapy Provenge available in Europe.

Dendreon did not say when it will start marketing Provenge in the European Union, but it said it will begin by making Provenge available in Germany and the U.K. The plans give Dendreon an opportunity to bolster sales of Provenge, which have fallen far short of expectations since the drug's launch in 2010.

The Seattle company's shares rose 43 cents, or 14.9 percent, to $3.31 in afternoon trading. Its shares have fallen 42 percent since a year ago. The rise came even as the company reported a larger loss for the fourth quarter.

Provenge is designed to train a patient's immune system to fight cancer, and when it was approved, many analysts expected annual sales to reach into the billions. However sales have been hurt by concerns about Provenge's high cost, limited benefit, and reimbursement rates. It is also facing competition from new drugs. European Union regulators granted approval in September, allowing Dendreon to market Provenge in all 28 EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

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