Sanpower Group, a private Chinese conglomerate, announced Friday the completion of its acquisition of Dendreon, from Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. for 819.9 million U.S. dollars in cash.
At the heart of the deal is Dendreon's lead product, Provenge, the only cellular immunotherapy approved so far by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
Sanpower, headquartered in Nanjing, capital of China's eastern Jiangsu Province, said it intends to keep Dendreon's current U.S. team and facilitate its continued growth by promoting Provenge's market penetration outside the United States, starting with China and Southeast Asia.
Dendreon, a biotechnology company based in Seattle, a city in Washington state of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, received FDA approval for Provenge in April 2010 and since has reportedly treated more than 20,000 prostate cancer patients with the therapy to curb tumors and prolong life expectancy.
As an example of Dendreon's "rationally designed therapeutic process" to break immune tolerance to disease specific proteins, namely prostatic acid phosphatase and its signalling component GM-CSF, Provenge consists of a mixture of the patient's own blood cells that have been incubated with the Dendreon PAP-GM-CSF fusion protein.
The agreement for Sanpower to acquire Dendreon from Valeant, a multinational specialty pharmaceutical company headquartered in Laval, Quebec, Canada, was signed in January this year in San Francisco, Northern California. The deal was sealed at a time, according to Sanpower, when the incidence of prostate cancer in China has increased by 10 times within the past 20 years.
Yuan Yafei, chairman of Sanpower Group, said Friday in a statement that "Dendreon will be well served in joining the Sanpower family, where it will be better positioned to accelerate growth and access attractive new markets."