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Dendreon: Third Quarter Earnings Preview

SEATTLE ( TheStreet) -- Dendreon (DNDN) will provide investors with another Provenge sales update when the company reports third quarter results Wednesday.

Analysts, on average, are expecting Provenge sales of just under $24 million. Dendreon is expected to post a net loss of 44 cents a share in the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

Dendreon's third-quarter report comes just two weeks before the U.S agency in charge of Medicare and Medicaid convenes a panel meeting to assess the use of Provenge in prostate cancer patients. Dendreon shares have been volatile going into this panel meeting because of concerns that Medicare officials could decide to restrict or limit reimbursement of Provenge.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Provenge on April 29. Provenge is the first cancer drug approved that works by activating a patient's own immune system to fight the disease. Yet the Provenge launch isn't typical since Dendreon can't make enough to satisfy patient demand. The company long ago told investors that limited manufacturing capacity would only allow about 2,000 patients to be treated in the first 12 months of the launch.

On Wednesday, Dendreon is expected to update investors on the progress being made to expand its New Jersey manufacturing plant and build out two new plants in Atlanta and Orange County, Calif., respectively. Dendreon is expected to be at full manufacturing capacity for Provenge in the middle of 2011.

Dendreon should also offer an update on the number of prescriptions written for Provenge. In August, the company said doctors wrote 500 Provenge prescriptions in the first three months of the drug's launch, which signaled strong demand for the drug.

Dendreon shares were up 21 cents to $36.71 in Monday trading.

--Written by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

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Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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