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MSN Search loses

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more market share

Despite the money and resources Microsoft has put into developing MSN Search, the search engine is losing market share, experts say. Market researcher NetRatings said yesterday that MSN had a 4 percent decrease in usage in the second quarter. Ask Jeeves had a 16 percent increase in search requests and AOL’s search had a 15 percent increase over the first quarter. Searches on market leader Google rose 6 percent.

Last month, digital marketing company WebSideStory said MSN’s share of the U.S. market dropped to 10.4 percent from nearly 16 percent a year ago. Google’s share has risen to 52 percent from nearly 45 percent.


Cancer-drug study

leads to stock jump

Dendreon stock rose 13.2 percent yesterday in heavy trading after it announced that a second pivotal study of its prostate cancer drug, Provenge, helped extend patients’ lives.

The Seattle biotech company said that three years after 98 patients were randomized to receive Provenge or placebo, the patients on Provenge showed a 20 percent improvement in median survival time. It also said that after three years, there was a substantially greater number of Provenge patients alive.

Dendreon stock rose 82 cents to $7.02 yesterday.


Profitability looms

as Cialis sales soar

Cialis, the erectile-dysfunction drug marketed by Bothell-based Icos and Eli Lilly, had worldwide sales of $191 million in the second quarter, up 39 percent from the year-earlier period.

U.S. sales hit $71 million in the quarter, compared with $61 million in Europe.

The joint venture reported a loss of $1.7 million, narrowing sharply from $70.5 million a year earlier. The joint venture said in a statement it is “on the cusp of profitability” — a level it earlier had forecast would be reached in the second half of 2005.

Compiled from Seattle Times business staff