Dendreon Corp. (DNDN:US), the drugmaker whose market value has shrunk by more than half since August, is seeking a buyer after sales of its prostate-cancer treatment failed to meet expectations, said people familiar with the matter.
Dendreon, the maker of Provenge, is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US) to find suitors, said one of the people, who asked not to be named as the process is private. The company, whose market value once topped $7 billion, has generated about $2 billion in losses (DNDN:US) over the past decade. That market capitalization now hovers at about $400 million.
Dendreon said in early August that sales of Provenge, its sole marketed product, wouldn’t increase this year as forecast. When the treatment won approval in 2010, analysts projected the drug could generate $4.3 billion in sales by 2020. Today the estimate for that period has shrunk to $476.5 million.
Dendreon, led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Johnson, has burned through money for at least six straight quarters. Cash and short-term investments had dropped to $207.4 million as of June from $538.6 million at the end of 2011.
Andy Brimmer, a spokesman for Seattle-based Dendreon with Joele Frank Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, yesterday declined to comment on any sale process. A JPMorgan spokeswoman also declined to comment.
Dendreon advanced 5 percent yesterday to close at $2.53 in New York.
To contact the reporters on this story: David Welch in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Beth Jinks in New York at email@example.com; Meg Tirrell in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at email@example.com; Reg Gale at firstname.lastname@example.org