Dendreon, a once-promising Seattle biotech company developing treatments for prostate cancer, today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
It marks the latest in a tough saga for a company that held extreme promise, but could not gain sales traction for PROVENGE or win over Wall Street.
“Whether the restructuring takes the form of a stand-alone recapitalization or a sale of the Company or its assets, we are confident that this process will allow PROVENGE to remain commercially available to the patients and providers who have come to rely on this revolutionary personalized cancer immunotherapy,” said W. Thomas Amick, president and chief executive officer of Dendreon in a statement. “We are pleased to have the support of a substantial majority of our Senior Noteholders through this restructuring and sale process. We thank our employees for their continued hard work and dedication and for their commitment to help deliver PROVENGE to patients who are in need of immunotherapy.”
The company said it does not anticipate having to raise more cash through the reorganization, with about $100 million in cash and cash equivalents on hand. It also said it will continue to operate under ordinary circumstances during the reorganization. Its largest creditor is Bank of New York Mellon.
Dendreon laid off 150 employees last year in an effort to become a “leaner” and more “nimble” bioech company, at the time leaving about 820 staffers. It also closed a manufacturing facility in New Jersey in 2012, costing about 600 workers their jobs. This year, the stock is down more than 90 percent.
Dendreon once employed about 2,000 employees, considered the rising star in Seattle’s biotech landscape following the sales of ICOS and Immunex. The company released PROVENGE in May 2010.
Dendreon posted revenue of $73 million during the third quarter, up from $68 million for the same period last year. The net loss shrank to $22 million, but the company has never been able to post a profit, wracking up $208 million in losses for the first nine months of this year.