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Dendreon closes New Jersey plant and cuts 600 jobs

By Tim Sandle     Aug 2, 2012 in Business
Cancer vaccine specialist Dendreon has announced that it will cut 600 jobs and close one of its three manufacturing facilities located in New Jersey.
The siteto close is, as reported by Forbes, located in Morris Plains, New Jersey. Along with the closure, 600 jobs will be cut from the workforce. The jobs will be lost over a twelve month period. The job losses follow some 500 staff being dismissed in September 2011, which included the then chief operating officer Hans Bishop.
Dendreon have reached the decision to close one of its major sites due to the slow uptake of its drug Provenge. Provenge (sipuleucel-T) is a drug designed for prostate cancer. The lower than expected demand follows the latest financial data, which indicates that sales are down on the previous quarter. This has led to a net loss of $96 million in the quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Dendreon will continue producing Provenge at its facilities in Atlanta, Georgia, and Seal Beach, California.
Dendreon is a Seattle based biotechnology company. Its lead product, Provenge is an immunotherapy for prostate cancer. It consists of a mixture of the patient's own blood cells that have been incubated with a fusion protein. The drug is FDA approved.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Dendreon's recently-appointed chairman John Johnson has said that he is hopeful that Dendreon can meet demand for up to $1 billion in sales for Provenge from the remaining two facilities.
Provenge is relatively complex to make, as the therapy involves taking immune cells from patients, exposing them to a prostate cancer antigen in a Dendreon production facility and then re-injecting them into the patient.
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