It was announced this morning that Dendreon (the manufactures of Provenge) has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. After having spoken with a representative at Dendreon I have learned that the company has been in negotiations with its creditors and agreed to voluntarily file for financial reorganization. The agreement that Dendreon has reached with their creditors specifies that the reorganization will either allow another company to take over Dendreon to continue the production of Provenge or to privatize the company which will also continue the production of Provenge.

Dendreon plans on fully continuing their operations, both providing commercial distribution and supporting any clinical trials current being conducted. Dendreon had notes valued over 620 million dollars coming due in 2016 which they would not be able to re-pay. Given the alternative of involuntary dissolution this current turn of events will hopefully allow for the continuation of uninterrupted distribution of Provenge.

Dendreon has been planning to move to the European market, but they have already bumped into some resistance because of the cost of the treatment ( Malecare has been told that despite this setback they are still planning on developing outlets in Europe.

Although there is clearly a sadness within the company, there does remain hope and optimism that provenge will continue both in the United States and eventually in Europe. According to a press release from Dendreon they will continue all operations until the final resolution of the reorganization has been completed at which time they believe that under the new arrangement Provenge will continue to be available.

I will be at a meeting next week in Seattle with representatives from Dendreon including their new CEO, their Director of Medical Affairs and their representative in charge of European Affairs. At this meeting I hope to be able to get further clarifications on the significance of this restructuring. If you have any specific questions or concerns I can express at this meeting please let me know.

Given the options that were being faced by Dendreon, I believe that this restructuring provides the best opportunity for the continuing production and distribution of Provenge overtime. Only time will tell. In the mean time I reiterate my recommendation (, if you qualify to receive Provenge you should consider making those arrangements sooner than later.

Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.