Dendreon Recruits Genentech CEO, Former Lilly Manufacturing Chief to Board

Xconomy Seattle — 

Seattle-based Dendreon recruited some serious industry experience in marketing and manufacturing today to its board of directors. The company has added Ian Clark, the CEO of Roche’s Genentech unit and former head of Genentech’s commercial operations, along with Pedro Granadillo, a former senior vice president of manufacturing at Eli Lilly, according to two separate regulatory filings released late Friday.

Clark was in charge of commercial operations at Genentech when it was the largest U.S. maker of cancer drugs, marketing blockbusters like bevacizumab (Avastin), and trastuzumab (Herceptin). He is now CEO of the Genentech unit in South San Francisco that’s owned by Switzerland-based Roche. Granadillo, who also has extensive experience in human resources, also serves on the boards of Haemonetics, Nile Therapeutics, and Noven Pharmaceuticals, according to a profile page on the Forbes website.

Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) is seeking to add expertise throughout its organization as it hopes to win FDA approval and start marketing its first product, sipuleucel-T (Provenge) for men with terminal prostate cancer. The company’s stock has boomed this year, and it has raised $221 million from investors, after showing that this first-of-its-kind immune-boosting treatment was able to help men live longer with minimal side effects. The company has also gone on a hiring binge this year as it seeks to make sure it has the talent to make the most of this drug, recently saying it plans to double in size to about 600 employees.

Dendreon lists seven board members on its website, and there were no associated filings that said anyone has vacated a seat. A spokeswoman for Dendreon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about why the company added the new directors.

Both Clark and Granadillo were awarded 4,994 shares in the company in connection with joining the board, according to SEC filings. The shares are worth about $137,000 at today’s closing stock price of $27.48.