Dendreon downsizes amid Provenge reimbursement woes

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Dendreon is downsizing to the tune of around 500 jobs and COO Hans Bishop is on the outs as the company struggles to launch its prostate cancer vaccine Provenge, which is seeing glacial uptake amid reimbursement woes.

The company reported August gross revenues of $22 million, and “continues to expect modest quarter-over-quarter growth as it works to educate physicians on the improved reimbursement paradigm,” said a release. At the end of August, the company had cash reserves of around $600 million, and expected to be able to achieve break even in the US at around $500 million in revenue.

“We believe that the improved reimbursement landscape and our comprehensive plan to educate physicians, coupled with the meaningful clinical benefit that Provenge provides to patients, creates a strong market opportunity,” said CEO Mitchell Gold, MD.

News of the layoffs capped a week in which Sanofi announced plans to slash an additional $2.9 billion and to reduce its global headcount by 3,000 positions by the end of the year as the company faces the upcoming expirations of patents for Plavix and Avapro.

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