Poniard unveils positive picoplatin safety profile

Mid-stage studies of Poniard Pharmaceuticals' picoplatin delivered positive data for advanced colorectal cancer as well as advanced prostate cancer, setting the schedule for likely Phase III studies in 2010.

Poniard plans to seek regulatory approval for picoplatin later this year for small-cell lung cancer, which would put it in direct competition with Sanofi's blockbuster Eloxatin, reports Reuters. And Poniard says that picoplatin has demonstrated reduced nerve toxicity compared to Eloxatin.

In the colorectal cancer study, patients were divided into two groups. One group received Eloxatin in combination with two standard treatments and the other got picoplatin with the two standard therapies. While similar numbers achieved disease control in both groups, 29 percent of the picoplatin group experienced neurotoxicity compared to 60 percent in the Eloxatin group. None of the patients in the picoplatin study experienced extreme neurotoxicity while 16 percent of the Eloxatin group reported the side effect.

"This data suggests activity (against cancer) is retained, but toxicity is improved by substituting picoplatin for Eloxatin," said Dr. Richard Goldberg, a University of North Carolina oncologist who is a consultant for Poniard. 

- here's Poniard's release
- read the full report from Reuters

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