Dendreon is pricing Provenge high and for the first year its availability will be low, according to a report today in Xconomy, a Seattle business website. Provenge, the first immunotherapy to win FDA approval for treatment of men with prostate cancer, will cost $93,000 per patient. Only 2,000 patients will be treated with Provenge in the first year.
Category > Dendreon
An open-label study of Sipuleucel-T (Provenge) is ongoing at 8 centers across the USA. This is a Phase 2 Study enrolling men with Metastatic Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer (CRPC).
The aim of this study is to measure the immune responses to treatment with sipuleucel-T (Provenge). All participants will receive the drug.
“These results confirm the clinical value of Provenge to prolong survival in patients with advanced prostate cancer,” said Dr. Philip Kantoff, head of the prostate cancer program and chief of the division of solid tumor oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and a principal investigator of the Provenge study, in a statement.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for a drug that is well tolerated and that gives men with advanced prostate cancer another option,” said Christopher Amling, chief of urology at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Ore., who wasn’t involved with the study.
A four part interview with Hy Levitsky M.D., professor of oncology and tumor immunology at Johns Hopkins Medical School and co-inventor GVAX anti-cancer vaccine, is posted on Dendreon Investor Village website.
Interview conducted by rufustoehee, a dentist and Dendreon investor, published 4/22/2009.
By way of introduction, Dr Levitsky’s bio is posted alphabetically downpage among those of other speakers at Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy 2008: From Discovery to Development to Drug.
EXCERPTS FROM INTERVIEW
Conversation with Dr. Levitsky Part 1
“. . . . how this impacts on the field of tumor immunology, I feel it will very much depend on the nature of the data they present, assuming for the sake of discussion, that this is an unequivocal and unambiguous win, then I think it will have a very significant impact. Number one, I think that unless there are aspects to this that have not been made public, I think the FDA would in this instance need to move it forward in the approval process and I think that how it ultimately gets integrated into clinical practice will be a fascinating thing to watch.
“. . . . It is important to acknowledge that tumor response is a surrogate endpoint. It is a surrogate endpoint for perhaps 2 other endpoints that might be more meaningful. One is overall survival which is the gold standard and the other perhaps is the quality of life. No one can argue that those two things have sort of the paramount importance where as to an objective 50% or greater reduction in the mean diameter of all measurable tumor masses is an interesting yard stick, but it is only a yard stick.”
A Dendreon Inc., director, Gerardo Canet, sold over 200,000 stock options in the company on April 14. According to a filing with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), the sale was made “pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.” Such trading plans are set up to defend company insiders from allegations of trading on insider information.
At 9 A:M ET on April 14 Dendreon’s CEO Mitchell Gold told investor analysts that Dendreon’s Provenge prostate cancer immunotherapy vaccine significantly prolongs survival in men with advanced metastatic prostate cancer. The results are “robust” and “unambiguous,” Gold stated.
“The successful outcome from the Phase 3 IMPACT study provides validation of the long-pursued goal of harnessing the human immune system against a patient’s own cancer,” the company stated in a press release April 14.
Mr. Canet’s SEC Form 4 filing was pointed out today by a member of the Dendreon message board at Investor Village. Members discussed whether Mr. Canet may have had a GTC or “Good ‘Til Canceled” order. This is “An order to buy or sell a security at a set price that is active until the investor decides to cancel it or the trade is executed. If an order does not have a good-’til-canceled instruction then the order will expire at the end of the trading day the order was placed.”
The SEC form in question states “The sales reported on this Form 4 were effected pursuant to a Rule 10b5-1 trading plan adopted by the reporting person.”
Dendreon’s prostate cancer vaccine significantly prolonged the overall survival among 500 men with advanced, metastic prostate cancer compared to a placebo, the company said Tuesday.
Results were “robust” and “unambiguous,” a spokesman said during today’s (Tues April 14) company broadcast conference call with biotech investment analysts.
“The successful outcome from the Phase 3 IMPACT study provides validation of the long-pursued goal of harnessing the human immune system against a patient’s own cancer,” Dendreon Chief Executive Mitchell Gold said in a statement.
“Survival is the gold standard outcome for oncology clinical trials, and overall survival was the primary endpoint of the IMPACT trial. The positive results from this landmark study provide confirmatory evidence demonstrating that treatment with PROVENGE may prolong survival,” Dendreon CEO Mitch Gold said.
The Seattle-based drugmaker said the phase III study of Provenge, known as IMPACT, met its primary endpoint with statistical significance. Details of the study are being withheld so that they can be presented at the American Urological Association’s Annual Meeting in Chicago on April 28.
Raise a Voice, an advocacy group for advanced prostate cancer patients, which is calling for patient access to drugs that have passed through Phase I trials, has written a thank you letter to the FDA Advisory Committee on Dendreon’s sipuleucel-T (Provenge).