Pharmas Market with Mike Huckman

Dendreon On The 8s

On May 8th Dendreonannounced an offeringof nearly 11 million more shares.

Seven months later, on December 8th, DNDN announced another offering, this time for 15 million shares.

As you might expect when a company issues more shares, especially one that doesn't make any money and doesn't expect to make a profit for quite awhile, the stock is down on the news.

While the day of the month stayed the same, the number of shares obviously changed and so did the investment banks doing the deal. Deutsche Bankworked on the first one and the second one. But this time it has company. JPMorgan is also underwriting the offering.

Coincidentally, JPMorgan sent me its agenda this week for its 2010 healthcare conference. It's the first and the biggest of the year. Hundreds of companies make presentations and thousands of investors attend. It's a big deal.

Anyway, for the past several years Dendreon had been sent to Siberia at the prestigious confab. It had often been relegated to presenting late in the day on the last day or two when a lot of people have already left. Part of that had to do with so many analysts and investors being skeptical about DNDN's unique experimental treatment for prostate cancer. There were a lot of haters.

But last year, the biotech unveiled late-stage test results showing Provenge works and the stock skyrocketed. The FDA is expected to finally approve the first therapeutic cancer vaccine sometime next year. Now there's a lot more Wall Street interest in Dendreon. so, that might explain why JPM has moved Dendreon to prime time. According to the agenda, the company will be presenting at the San Francisco healthcare conference at 3 p.m. PT on the first day.

At the risk of angering our JPM hosts, who have treated us so well over the years when we broadcast live from their event, my first thought was that DNDN was giving the firm some business, going to give it some business or maybe JPM was just hoping to win some Dendreon business. I didn't see another share offering coming, but everyone knows Dendreon is looking to do a partnership deal on Provenge and many have speculated someone's eventually gonna buy the company.

Assuming this blog doesn't change things, I'll be reporting live from the conference on Tuesday, January 12th. And, hopefully, have an interview with DNDN CEO Dr. Mitchell Gold.

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