US oncology specialist Dendreon Corp has posted a 132% rise in revenues for the fourth quarter and losses have narrowed as the firm waits for news from US regulators to see whether it can get its prostate cancer treatment Provenge onto the market soon.

Revenues reached $86,000 while losses for the quarter were $21.5 million or $0.28 per share, down 13.3% compared to the same period in 2005 and better than analysts’ estimates. For the full year, Dendreon's revenues increased 30% to $273,000, while the net loss was $91.6 million, up 12.4%, and the firm ended the year with cash and equivalents of $121.3 million, boosted by a share offering in November last year which resulted in proceeds of $45 million.

However all eyes are on the future prospects for the immunotherapy drug Provenge (sipuleucel-T). The treatment is to be reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration’s Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee on March 29 for the treatment of asymptomatic, metastatic, androgen-independent (also known as hormone refractory) prostate cancer.

Dendreon says that Provenge may represent the first in a new class of active cellular immunotherapies that are uniquely designed to stimulate a patient's own immune system and chief executive Mitchell Gold said the drug “ offers a first-to-market opportunity for our novel oncology platform and may provide physicians with a new option for treating prostate cancer patients. We are looking forward to our advisory committee meeting."

Dendreon added that preliminary results from an ongoing clinical trial indicated the drug's potential to benefit patients with earlier-stage prostate cancer as well.