Dendreon boosts Provenge production, treatment sites

Dendreon's production ramp-up on Provenge is on track, the company says, with manufacturing expected to be up to speed by year's end. All three manufacturing plants will be shipping by then, and Provenge will be available at hundreds of more locations, setting the stage for Dendreon to hit its 2011 sales target of $350 million to $400 million.

Provenge is the first cancer vaccine to hit the market. It was approved last year, but lack of manufacturing capacity kept Dendreon from rolling out the treatment in a big way. The company has been working to expand its New Jersey production and to win the FDA nod for new plants in California and Georgia.

While the company is getting its manufacturing capacity together, it's also working on adding to its list of treatment sites, a.k.a. infusion accounts. Dendreon predicts it will have 225 accounts ready to go by mid-year and 500 by the end of the year. That's 10 times the number available at the end of 2010, Reuters reports.

"I think the revenue projections are ambitious, like Provenge is, but they're lining up all the ducks to get there," Needham & Co. analyst Mark Monane told the news service. Those ducks won't be in a row until late in the year, however, if revenue projections are any indication: Dendreon expects half of its 2011 sales to come during the fourth quarter.

- read the Reuters news