Dendreon Says Sales Will Decline in 2013, Shares Fall

Xconomy Seattle — 

Seattle-based Dendreon set a modest goal this year. It wanted to see annual sales of its prostate cancer drug increase. The company didn’t say it wanted a 30 percent increase or a 20 percent increase—just an increase.

Today, it said it’s likely to fall short of that relatively mild ambition.

Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) said today that it generated about $73 million in second-quarter sales of sipuleucel-T (Provenge), its immune-boosting treatment for prostate cancer. That was 8 percent better than it did in the first quarter of the year, but a couple million dollars shy of Wall Street’s quarterly estimates, according to Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst with ISI Group. Dendreon generated $325 million in Provenge sales during 2012.

Shares of Dendreon fell more than 10 percent in after-hours trading, following the quarterly report.

While the company tried to play up some gains it has made among urologists who are starting to prescribe its product, Dendreon told investors today that it won’t be able to meet its goal of increasing Provenge sales in 2013. All year, the company has been grappling with tough competition from products sold by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and Medivation (NASDAQ: MDVN).

The company’s losses have continued to mount as it faces that competitive onslaught. Dendreon reported a $68.8 million net loss in the quarter that ended June 30—a huge loss for a company that won FDA approval three years ago for what many analysts thought would be a billion-dollar product. The company reported it had $281 million in cash left at this year’s half-way point, down from $430 million at the start of the year.

Dendreon also said today that Greg Schiffman, its longtime chief financial officer, is planning to leave the company at the end of the year. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by Greg Cox, the company’s vice president of finance.