Dendreon's Provenge: A Behind-the-Scenes Look
I won't be surprised to see Dendreon trade into the $30 range in the next days and weeks. It was recently up 89.8% to $22.42.
Mystery still surrounds the steep 45% drop in Dendreon's stock price Tuesday right before trading was halted in preparation for the Provenge data presentation. Company officials couldn't explain what happened Tuesday night, nor could analysts and investors gathered on site in Chicago.
Guesses as to the reason abounded, however, including a computerized trading glitch, an errant market order or more nefariously, a coordinated bear raid on the stock.Whatever the real cause, the sharp selloff caused a few minutes of outright panic for those investors long Dendreon shares. One hedge fund analyst, working for a fund with a significant Dendreon holding, turned deathly white as he frantically spoke with his trader and portfolio manager in New York trying to figure out what the heck was happening. The color in his face and his heart rate returned to normal only after he read the Provenge data as it came over the wire.
The Provenge survival data presented Tuesday appeared to be clean and consistent. You should understand that Wall Street biotech investors -- long or short -- go into these data presentations looking for red flags and weaknesses. This is a blood sport, and everyone is primed to jump on any data point hinting at problems ahead. I didn't hear any significant complaints from investors last night about the Provenge data. Nothing in Dr. David Penson's slides jumped out in a bad way. Questions and some unease over precisely how and why Provenge works are going to linger, but a survival benefit trumps all in cancer.
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