Dendreon to lay off 600 employees following poor sales

 
 

Dendreon, the once high-flying Seattle biotech company, plans to lay off 600 employees following poor sales of Provenge. Here's the story from the Associated Press.:

 

SEATTLE (AP) — Biotech drugmaker Dendreon Corp. said Monday that it will cut about 600 jobs following disappointing sales of its expensive prostate cancer drug Provenge.

The company also will close its Morris Plains, NJ, manufacturing facility and reorganize administrative work as part of the plan to save the company $150 million annually. The cuts will affect full-time and part-time staff. They will take effect over the next year.

Dendreon said two remaining manufacturing sites in Union City, Ga., and Seal Beach, Calif., should be able to meet demand for Provenge production.

Provenge won U.S. approval in April 2010 and was the first drug designed to use the body's own immune system to fight cancer. Regulators approved the drug for prostate cancer that has not responded to other treatments. Analysts once expected sales to reach $1 billion per year, but sales have not matched those expectations. Analysts have blamed the drug's time-consuming production process, which takes several weeks, not to mention its $93,000 price tag.

"This restructuring sets a new course forward for Dendreon, accelerating our path to profitability and future growth," said CEO John H. Johnson.

The announcement came as the company reported second quarter earnings that missed Wall Street's forecast.

Dendreon posted a net loss of $96.1 million, or 65 cents per share, compared to a loss of $116 million, or 79 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2011. Sales of Provenge, the company's only marketed product, were nearly $80 million, up from $48 million a year ago.

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Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 60 cents per share on sales of $85.2 million.

Analysts have speculated that Provenge could soon be eclipsed by two newer competitors: Johnson & Johnson's drug Zytiga and by Medivation Inc. and Astellas Pharma's drug candidate MDV3100.

Shares of Dendreon Corp. fell 6 cents to close at $6.18. The company's earnings and reorganizing plans were announced after the market closed. Trading in Dendreon shares was halted.

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Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Smart Glasses Improving Workflow for HVAC Projects

Wearable technology increases productivity for HVAC technicians
 
 

Sponsored by MacDonald-Miller

XOEye technologies created a smart glasses tool, built specifically for field technicians to capture real-time documentation. When MacDonald-Miller heard about the new wearable technology platform, they saw it as an opportunity to be the first mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest to implement these smart glasses into their services.

We interviewed MacDonald-Miller’s Chief Information Officer, Bradd Busick, to hear first-hand how this new technology will be integrated into services and how it will streamline HVAC projects.

What are the capabilities of the smart glasses? 

The smart glasses, MacLens, capture and stream high fidelity audio and visual content, enabling first-person point-of-view (POV). MacLens includes a camera, earpiece, and microphone — all built into a single headset, capturing real-time documentation of equipment, work performed, and recommendations being made. 

How does it work for technicians?

Once service techs arrive onsite, they put their MacLens glasses on to create an intro video communicating where they are, a brief diagnosis or repair identification, and a summary recap for the customer. After the site visit is complete, the tech then uploads the content to the call summary report on the customer portal, where customers can access it at their convenience.

What is the benefit for the end-user?

Building owners and property managers have to trust their maintenance provider is actually doing the work they claim. Most building owners will never see the work being done on their properties, but they will receive a list of recommendations for changes and a bill. It’s a relationship built on trust. MacLens adds a level of transparency and customer experience where we are able to show in real-time what is happening on roofs and in mechanical rooms. MacLens embeds audio and video content into each summary report, providing customers with the peace of mind that comes with unbridled transparency.

What is the vision behind this technology roll-out?

The goal is to enhance the customer connection to the services provided and also enable technicians to connect with each other. There are incredible operational efficiencies that enable mobility and collaboration through telepresence and increased accountability.

How will they affect the next wave of HVAC technicians?

Not only will MacLens increase workflow productivity, but it also offers training opportunities and safety benefits without adding any additional work to service technicians. This is a major educational advantage. Now expert journeyman can train apprentices simply by walking through their daily tasks, recording those sessions and sharing them in our learning management system — it’s the next evolution of training!

See MacLens in action here.

MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions is a full-service, design-build, mechanical contractor in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about MacDonald-Miller’s recent projects.