Dendreon faces large debt payment as CEO departs
- Low Provenge revenues have not helped Dendreon meet its upcoming debt obligation—due Sunday.
- Dendreon shares have fallen from $50 to less than $2.
- CEO John Johnson resigned from the board effective June 3 and will step down from his post effective Aug. 15.
Given the current M&A frenzy, a buyout of Dendreon would not be a total surprise. However, the company is saddled with debt and has a relatively low market cap of just $333 million. Current efforts to salvage the company include cost-cutting measures and increasing promotional marketing in the EU. On the upside, several months ago, Dendreon received approval of Provenge for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer from the European Commission. This opens up marketing opportunities in 31 countries.
The downside: Oncologists and urologists seem to prefer Zytiga, the Johnson & Johnson drug indicated for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Biopharma Dive recently reported on its progress in clinical trials for additional indications.
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