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Originally published March 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM | Page modified March 4, 2014 at 6:24 AM

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Dendreon rises as company plans EU Provenge launch

Shares of Dendreon surged Monday after the company said it will start making its prostate cancer therapy Provenge available in Europe.

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Shares of Dendreon surged Monday after the company said it will start making its prostate cancer therapy Provenge available in Europe.

Dendreon did not say when it will start marketing Provenge in the European Union, but it said it will begin by making Provenge available in Germany and the U.K. The plans give Dendreon an opportunity to bolster sales of Provenge, which have fallen far short of expectations since the drug's launch in 2010.

The Seattle company's shares rose 43 cents, or 14.9 percent, to $3.31 in afternoon trading. Its shares have fallen 42 percent since a year ago. The rise came even as the company reported a larger loss for the fourth quarter.

Provenge is designed to train a patient's immune system to fight cancer, and when it was approved, many analysts expected annual sales to reach into the billions. However sales have been hurt by concerns about Provenge's high cost, limited benefit, and reimbursement rates. It is also facing competition from new drugs. European Union regulators granted approval in September, allowing Dendreon to market Provenge in all 28 EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.

Dendreon Corp. reported Monday that it lost $88.7 million, or 58 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. A year ago it lost $38.7 million, or 26 cents per share. Its revenue fell 12 percent to $74.8 million from $85.5 million.

Analysts expected a loss of 37 cents per share and $75.3 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Dendreon lost $296.8 million, or $1.95 per share, in 2013 after taking a loss of $393.6 million, or $2.65 per share, in 2012. Revenue fell 13 percent, to $283.7 million from $325.5 million.

The company said it expects similar revenue in the first quarter of 2014 to the $67.6 million it had in the first quarter of 2013. Analysts had forecast $75.8 million in revenue on average.

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