Shares surge as satraplatin succeeds in Phase III

Shares of Pharmion and GPC Biotech surged after the drug developers announced that volunteers in a Phase III trial of satraplatin for prostate cancer demonstrated a 40 percent reduction in the risk of disease progression. The reduced risks were compared to disease progression among volunteers taking a placebo along with prednisone. Researchers say they will continue to treat volunteers whose cancer has not progressed and track their outcomes. Germany's GPC says it plans to push ahead with an application for marketing approval in the U.S. later this year while Boulder, CO-based Pharmion is planning a European application in the first half of next year. Spectrum Pharmaceuticals stands to earn $20 million in milestones based on the regulatory approval of Satraplatin, which is why their shares shot up 48 percent on the news.

- here's the AP report on the trial data