Dendreon confirmed today it reached an agreement for Valeant Pharmaceutical International to serve as a “stalking horse” company to make the first bid in a bankruptcy court-supervised sale of the prostate cancer drug developer.

Valeant said yesterday it agreed to buy Dendreon assets that include worldwide rights to its marketed prostate cancer treatment Provenge® (sipuleucel-T) for $296 million cash, subject to higher and better bids.

Valeant’s bid is almost as much in net product revenue as Dendreon generated all last year from Provenge —$303.8 million, up 7.1% from $283.7 million in 2013, according to figures released by Dendreon on January 14. Dendreon’s quarterly net product revenue from Provenge also increased, climbing 6.7% year-over-year to $79.8 million. Also earlier this month, the first commercial patient in Germany began treatment with Provenge for advanced prostate cancer.

“We believe that oncology has similar characteristics to our current therapeutic portfolios, such as strong growth, high durability, strong patient and physician loyalty, and a terrific reimbursement regime,” J. Michael Pearson, Valeant’s chairman and CEO, said in a company statement. “We have not previously found an economic way to enter this market, but with the unique dynamics of this situation, we believe that this transaction will create significant shareholder value.”

Dendreon also agreed to extend the timeframe for submission of bids by bidders interested in taking part in the auction. The bid deadline has been extended from January 29 at 5:00 p.m. ET to February 10 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Should additional bids be submitted, the Dendreon auction would take place February 12. According to a filing with the bankruptcy court, the auction is set for 10 a.m. ET in the New York City offices of Dendreon’s legal advisor, the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, 4 Times Square.

Because it is the “stalking horse bidder,” Valeant will be entitled to a break-up fee and expense reimbursement if it isn’t the successful bidder at the auction.

“We are confident that this process will result in a strong new owner for Provenge, and that patients will continue to receive treatments with no disruption moving forward,” Dendreon CEO W. Thomas Amick said in a statement.

Dendreon filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on November 10, 2014, as part of a financial restructuring agreed upon with senior lenders. The Chapter 11 filing capped more than four years in which the company struggled with underperforming sales and increased competition from other developers of cancer treatments.

The case is pending in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (14-12515). In a corrected Summary of Schedules filing submitted to the court on January 28, Dendreon listed $624.050 million in liabilities and only $320.698 million in assets.

Earlier this month in a separate filing, Dendreon disclosed three years of declining income from operation of the business. For the nine months ending September 20, 2014, Dendreon reported $224.061 million, down from $283.676 million for all of 2013, sand $325.333 million for all of 2012.

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