Dendreon has lost almost $3 billion in market capitalization this past week on the heels of its quarterly earnings announcment that it had missed its sales forecast on Provenge, that is was withdrawing its forecast for the next two quarters, that it was not issuing any further sales guidance for 2011, that community oncologists were not prescribing as often as expected due to reimbursement fears, that it had to educate these same oncologists on Medicare's reimbursement procedures and that the Sun was in their eyes and the Dog ate their homework.
As Xconomy's Luke Timmerman points out in his piece today, much of this should have been under more direct control even with blinding Sun or rabid Dogs circling about. It seems that Dendreon dropped the ball in its relationship with 3rd party payers and educating its physician-user community. Now, they will have to pick themsleves up, dust off, and go back to it -- but not before they pay a healthy penalty in short-term stock valuation and not before they seem to have started a run down in other Biotech stocks.
The point of Timmerman's article is that Dendreon's challenges are Dendreon's and not of the industry as a whole. You only need to look at the successful launch of Incivek by Vertex to be so convinced. Of course, it doesn't hurt when your product also shows such obvious patient benefit and advancement to the practice of medicine in your chosen therapeutic category.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Aug 8th 2011.