GPC shares crater on Phase III cancer failure

Germany's GPC Biotech saw its already battered stock price crater this morning after announcing that its experimental prostate cancer drug, satraplatin, failed to help patients live longer in a critical late-stage trial. GPC announced it was cutting its workforce by 15 percent to account for the trial disaster, which sliced 65 percent off of its remaining stock value.

The vultures had already been gathering around satraplatin after GPC and its partner, Pharmion, announced that they were withdrawing their FDA application until survival data was in. The data is also expected to have an impact on their European regulatory filing. In the trial, patients taking the therapy in combination with prednisone lived an average of 61.3 weeks compared to 61.4 weeks for the control group. That kind of survival response would not pass muster with regulators. Researchers say they will evaluate how they plan to proceed with the cancer program.

"We are extremely disappointed with the findings,'' said GPC Chief Executive Officer Bernd Seizinger in an understatement of the week. One analyst noted that the company's business model is somewhat "unclear" after the results were announced.

- see this release from GPC
- here's the report from MarketWatch

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