Dendreon Shares Take Off Ahead of FDA Panel Meeting

Shares of pharmaceutical firm Dendreon leaped on Wednesday following a CNBC report about a planned Thursday Food and Drug Administration hearing that could determine the fate of a prostate cancer drug from the company.

Dendreon seeks a positive recommendation for FDA approval of what would be the first-ever therapeutic cancer vaccine, reported CNBC pharmaceuticals reporter Mike Huckman. The drug, Provenge, has failed to meet some testing endpoints but also shows signs of conferring survival benefits.

The FDA usually follows the recommendations of panels such as the one meeting tomorrow -- but not all the time, Huckman said.

Dendreon shares , which are heavily shorted and have traded in a narrow range for the last 52 weeks, leaped after the CNBC report.

Prostate cancer is the second-most common cancer among U.S. men, killing about 30,000 annually.