Dendreon Falls After Saying Provenge Won’t Meet Target

Dendreon Corp., maker of the prostate cancer treatment Provenge, plunged the most in 21 months after saying sales of the drug won’t increase this year as forecast.

Dendreon declined 26 percent to $3.39 at the close in New York, the biggest single-day drop since Nov. 3, 2011. The shares of the Seattle-based company had decreased 13 percent this year through yesterday.

Provenge, Dendreon’s only marketed product, generated more than 99 percent of the company’s $73.3 million in second-quarter revenue, which fell short of analysts’ estimates of $74.8 million. Based on enrollments in July and early August, Provenge won’t be able to generate enough sales in the second half of 2013 to overcome the first six months, the company said yesterday on a conference call.

“We’ll not be able to meet our goal of growing Provenge year-over-year,” Chief Executive Officer John Johnson said on the call. “We have seen that when Provenge is recommended to patients by physicians, some patients may hesitate because they do not understand immunotherapy.”

Separately, the company said Chief Financial Officer Gregory T. Schiffman will be leaving effective Dec. 31. Finance Vice President Gregory R. Cox will assume the role of interim CFO starting today.

Provenge was approved in 2010 as the first therapy in the U.S. that trains the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells as if they were a virus.

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