Total Curve Ball for Prostate Cancer Field (DNDN, JNJ, MDVN)

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Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) may be losing its favor as the prostate cancer drug of choice.  That is at least what the stock reaction is signaling today.  A late-stage study from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) showed that its prostate cancer drug Zytiga extended the life of patients with less advanced prostate cancer.

Provenge has already had some issues in adoption, reimbursement, and in more of a broad use.  Now the fear is that Zytiga may take more from Provenge.  J&J stopped the study early based upon finding that Zytiga significantly delayed the growth of prostate cancer versus those on placebo (and all will now be given Zytiga).

What is interesting is that Medivation, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDVN) is also up double-digits by about 11% to $71.25 because its MDV3100 is considered to be very similar to Zytiga and it is in late-stage studies.

Zytiga is approved for advanced prostate cancer, but this may now open the door to much wider use.  We do not have the survival data, but this could signficantly challenge Provenge if the results are anywhere close to the same as Dendreon’s approach requires blood from each user to be transformed using the body’s own immune system against the cancer at a very high cost.

Dendreon shares are down 15.5% at $9.18; J&J shares are up 0.95% at $64.90 and that is more impressive considering that J&J’s market cap is $178 billion versus $1.35 billion for Dendreon.

JON C. OGG