Poniard shares crash on PhIII picoplatin failure

Dashing investors' hopes, Poniard this morning revealed that its lead drug, the platinum-based cancer drug picoplatin, failed to hit its primary endpoint in a late-stage trial for advanced small cell lung cancer. That's a bitter disappointment for a developer with little else to focus on. And its stock crashed on the news, diving 78 percent.

According to a report in TheStreet, patients who received the therapy experienced an 11 percent reduction in the risk of death compared to patients who received the best supportive care. But that wasn't enough to hit its goal on statistical significance. Researchers had been hoping to see platinum-resistant patients respond better to the new therapy with fewer side effects. Poniard responded to the setback by announcing plans to sit down with the FDA to see how it should proceed from here.

"We are disappointed that the trial did not meet the primary endpoint. The data indicates that more patients on the best supportive care arm received chemotherapy following progression than those on the picoplatin arm, and we believe that this may have been a significant factor contributing to the trial outcome, as picoplatin appeared to demonstrate a trend toward a survival advantage," said Poniard CEO Jerry McMahon.

Poniard's shares had swelled significantly over the course of the year as analysts calculated the impact positive late-stage data could have on the company.

- check out Poniard's release
- read the story from Dow Jones
- here's the piece from TheStreet