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Dendreon's Secret "Lover" Finally Revealed

CNBC.com

It's not Carl Icahn.

Earlier this month I blogged about a mysterious institutional investor taking a big stake in the ever-popular biotech Dendreon .

DNDN's CFO was quoted as saying the secret admirer was familiar with biotech leading some to speculate it might be the billionaire activist investor who has taken stakes in Biogen-Idec , MedImmune and ImClone , just to name a few.

I mentioned that the buyer had 45 days from the date of purchase to reveal themselves to the Securities and Exchange Commission. But yesterday while I was on Manhattan's upper east side covering the $75 million townhouse story, the filing showed up on the SEC's website a little earlier than I'd expected. You can check it out here.

So, who is it? An outfit called Heights Capital Management. Thomson's Team Biotech, which does market intelligence for corporations (i.e. who's buying and selling) tells me the group is out of San Francisco and has a reputation for flipping shares quickly, but also for taking "concentrated positions" in companies as well. The Life Sciences blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Dendreon is based in Seattle) does a good job adding more color to the fund's backstory.

Separately yesterday, Dendreon unveiled new data at a scientific conference on another drug in its development pipeline that shows it might work on breast and other cancers. But the study is very small and early. Investors remain focused on Provenge, Dendreon's drug for prostate cancer, which could have crucial test results in the second half of this year that, if positive enough, could potentially lead to Food and Drug Administration approval of the highly controversial, hotly debated treatment.

No Icahn effect for Dendreonians.

Questions? Comments? Pharma@cnbc.com