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Dendreon’s John Johnson assumes chairman’s role

President and CEO assumes additional responsibilities

Dendreon’s president and CEO John Johnson has officially taken on the role of chairman at the company.

The planned move completes a phased handover from Dr Mitchell Gold, who announced his intention to step down from the company he led for eight years.

During that time Seattle-based Dendreon brought its therapeutic cancer vaccine Provenge to market, but the product has not been growing as expected.

Sales saw a strong rise in the fourth quarter of 2011, hitting $77m, but then tailed off in the first three months of this year and a key task for Johnson will be to increase US and European uptake of the vaccine.

Douglas Watson, lead independent director of the company’s board, said: “John has proven to be an outstanding leader, and is making important progress in positioning Dendreon for long-term success. As chairman, he will set the vision for Dendreon as we work to provide Provenge to patients around the world.”

Johnson has worked in the healthcare industry since joining Pfizer in 1983, and subsequently served at Lilly, ImClone and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) before moving most recently to Savient, where he was CEO.

Johnson said: “This is an exciting time in the prostate cancer space, and Dendreon has a unique position in the marketplace with an entirely new treatment paradigm. I look forward to working with the board and Dendreon management team as we work to improve our top and bottom line performance, creating value for shareholders and patients alike.”

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