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Dendreon Reports Provenge Sales, Plans for Expansion

Dendreon Corp. reported 2010 revenue of $48 million from its prostate-cancer treatment Provenge and projected sales this year of $350 million to $400 million.

About half of 2011 sales will occur in the fourth quarter as approval of new plants provides a 10-fold increase in U.S. manufacturing capacity, the Seattle-based company said today in a statement. The sales projection confirms a Nov. 3 forecast.

Provenge was approved in the U.S. in April as the first medicine to train the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells like a virus. Dendreon plans to file for marketing clearance by early 2012 in Europe.

“Last year was the launch year, the foundational year,” Dendreon Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Gold said in a telephone interview today. “2011 should be looked at as a growth year for the company.”

Dendreon rose $2.78, or 7.9 percent, to $38.20 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading, the biggest single-day gain in five months.

About 217,730 U.S. men were diagnosed with prostate cancer last year and 32,050 died of the disease, according to estimates from the American Cancer Society. Provenge is approved to help prolong survival in men with advanced tumors who don’t have symptoms, which generally start when patients have less than a year to live.

Waiting Weeks

Men are currently waiting weeks to months to get treated with Provenge, Gold said. That will improve as the company boosts its manufacturing capacity, increases the number of sales representatives to 100 and expands the number of prostate cancer specialists trained to treat patients, he said.

The potential European market is roughly “on par” with that of the U.S., Gold said. The company expects European regulators to rule on the company’s application in the first half of 2013, he said.

Dendreon is building a manufacturing site in central Germany and will use a contract manufacturing facility until it’s ready, Gold said. The German plant should come on line at about the time the product is approved, he said.

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