Ah, the irony. Just hours after Dendreon (NAS: DNDN) released a disappointing quarterly update on its prostate cancer vaccine Provenge, small biotech Medivation (NAS: MDVN) showed the market how it's done .
How? By announcing the late-stage trial results for its prostate cancer drug candidate MDV3100. And they rock. Patients lived on average five months longer taking the oral medication than the placebo, and side effects were reportedly mild.
MDV3100 looks to be a blockbuster in the making. With roughly one out of six men expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes, there are plenty of patients to go around. But biotechs with their own candidates -- Exelixis' (NAS: EXEL) cabozantinib comes to mind -- need to be watching what happens here carefully.
And Dendreon really needs to watch its backside here. Provenge is a first-line treatment, but it's having a hard time gaining traction with doctors. Management claims real progress in educating about the Medicare reimbursement for the $90,000 treatment, but knowledge doesn't equal sales. And it may not stop doctors from prescribing MDV3100 off label. If there have been light concerns over Johnson & Johnson's (NYS: JNJ) Zytiga and its encroachment on Provenge's turf, then Dendreon investors are furrowing their brows harder tonight.
For Medivation investors looking for more possible share-pops, the findings of another trial named XVCJIXOG -- in which MDV3100 is tested in men who have not yet received therapy -- is expected soon, not to mention an important meeting with the FDA next year.
- Add Medivation to My Watchlist.
- Add Dendreon to My Watchlist.
- Add Exelixis to My Watchlist.
- Add Johnson & Johnson to My Watchlist.
At the time this article was published David Williamson owns shares of Dendreon and Johnson & Johnson, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson, Dendreon, and Exelixis. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson and Exelixis and creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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