November 16, 2011
Dendreon Corporation (DNDN) $7.21
Positive takeaways from a call on Provenge with a leading urologist
We hosted a call today with a urologist, who is a leader in the Large Urology Group Practice Associations (LUGPAs; 10+ urologists), to discuss the evolving prostate cancer landscape, with a focus on Provenge. LUGPA represent nearly 20% of the US urologists. We have previously identified the LUGPAs as a key target for potentially increasing Provenge use given they are best equipped, in our view, to use the drug.
Our key takeaway from the call is that the use of Provenge could be expected to significantly accelerate in 2012:
- In the urologist’s view, the CMS National Coverage Determination (NCD) was largely responsible for the limited uptake of Provenge over the past year. In his practice, for example, he was unable to roll out a protocol for Provenge use until November 1, 2011. Since he has rolled out the protocol, his practice has already placed 7 patients on Provenge, and has identified 100-200 eligible patients for the drug as well.
- He also feels that the other LUGPA members are beginning to embrace Provenge. He believes there could be a logarithmic increase in uptake of the drug in 2012.
- He also articulated the need for urologists to embrace Provenge to optimize patient care as they could otherwise risk losing the patients to others who might.
- He sees the risk/reward of Provenge use as compelling. He felt his patient traded in 10 hours of logistics in getting Provenge for a potential 4-month increase in survival with no toxicity (unlike chemotherapy).
Our rating and price target are unchanged.