BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Thoughts and burning questions as the biotech sector heads into third-quarter earnings season: Perhaps the best thing that can be said for Dendreon ( DNDN) is that investors are unlikely to be surprised by anything in the third-quarter report following the shocking Provenge blow-up this past summer. Current consensus calls for Provenge to post $64 million in June quarter sales, or 28% quarter-over-quarter growth, according to Bloomberg. Investors will be listening for an update from Dendreon management on progress being made to resolve Provenge's reimbursement issues. Also important will be disclosure of Provenge monthly sales for September and October to see if month-over-month gains recorded during the summer are continuing into the fall. Vertex Pharmaceuticals ( VRTX) is poised to report its first profitable quarter following the boffo launch of its hepatitis C drug Incivek, but can the company maintain its momentum as competition looms? Analysts have Vertex earning 18 cents per share in the third quarter on an adjusted basis, according to Bloomberg. For a company known for big losses and heavy spending during Incivek's clinical development, positive earnings in the June quarter will be a noteworthy accomplishment. As for Incivek, Bloomberg data pegs third-quarter sales consensus at $267 million but that appears to be quite low based on current prescription trends suggesting the drug's sales will be closer to $400 million. Incivek sales in the second quarter totaled $75 million. Expect Vertex to receive a lot of questions about recent Incivek prescription trends, which suggest a flattening of the drug's growth rate. Is this just a short-term aberration or an indication that the Incivek launch is running out of steam? Weakness in Vertex's stock price lately is attributable, at least partially, to worries about Incivek's long-term outlook. Human Genome Sciences ( HGSI) shares, at $12, have been cut in half since the company reported in-line sales of its lupus drug Benlysta during the second quarter. Blame the steep decline on a drug launch having trouble meeting even reduced expectations. The bear market isn't helping either. Benlysta sales in August showed 33% month-over-month growth, raising hopes that that Human Genome can deliver an equally strong September and meet current third-quarter consensus of $20 million in Benlysta sales, according to Bloomberg.