MARTINSRIED/MUNICH, Germany, May 21, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PRINCETON, N.J., and BOULDER, Colo. -- GPC Biotech AG and Pharmion Corporation today announced the presentation of additional data from the double-blind, randomized satraplatin Phase 3 registrational trial, the SPARC trial (Satraplatin and Prednisone Against Refractory Cancer). The data are being presented today at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in Anaheim, California. The SPARC trial is evaluating satraplatin plus prednisone versus placebo plus prednisone in 950 patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) whose prior chemotherapy has failed. An NDA for satraplatin is currently under priority review by the U.S. FDA.
"Patients with metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer frequently suffer from substantial pain associated with bone metastases. Thus, pain control for these patients constitutes a major challenge and is an important goal when caring for them," said Oliver Sartor, M.D., Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and principal investigator of the SPARC trial, who is presenting the satraplatin data today. "In addition to the very encouraging results for progression-free survival demonstrating a 33% lower risk of progression compared to control, it is exciting to see that the SPARC trial results show that treatment with satraplatin also results in a statistically significant improvement in time to pain progression."
Data presented today showed that the median time to pain progression was 66.1 weeks for the satraplatin arm compared with 22.3 weeks for the placebo arm. The hazard ratio was 0.64 (95% CI: 0.51-0.79, p<0.001), which translates into a 36% reduction in the relative risk of pain progression. These results were consistent across multiple pre-defined subsets of patients, including patients treated with prior Taxotere(R) (docetaxel). All pain progression events were assigned by a blinded independent review committee. Complementing the time to pain progression data, pain response rates were 24.2 percent for the satraplatin plus prednisone arm (N=351) compared with 13.8 percent for the placebo arm (N=181) (p=0.005). Pain response rates for patients treated with prior Taxotere were 25.7 percent for the satraplatin arm compared with 13.1 percent for control (p<0.015). All of the findings presented today continue to build on the data previously presented from the SPARC trial.
Pain response was assessed by patients using a weekly present pain intensity (PPI) and analgesic score. The PPI score was defined according to the McGill-Melzack questionnaire with 0 = no pain, 1 = mild pain, 2 = discomforting pain, 3 = distressing pain, 4 = horrible pain and 5 = excruciating pain. The criteria for pain response are a greater than or equal to 2 point reduction in the patients' weekly PPI score from baseline and maintenance of the two point reduction for at least five consecutive weeks in the setting of a stable or decreasing weekly analgesic score compared to baseline. Patients were evaluable for pain response if their baseline PPI score was greater than or equal to one and had completed four consecutive weekly assessments of PPI and analgesic scores during the study treatment.
Safety findings in the SPARC trial were consistent with previous clinical studies involving satraplatin. The most common adverse reactions consisted of myelosuppression (bone marrow functions): Twenty-one percent of patients in the satraplatin arm experienced grade 3 or 4 thrombocytopenia; 14 percent had leucopenia and 21 percent had n eutropenia. Eight percent of patients in the satraplatin arm experienced grade 3 or 4 gastrointestinal toxicities, including nausea (1.3%), vomiting (1.6%), diarrhea (2.1%) and constipation (2.1%). Five percent or less of patients in the satraplatin arm experienced grade 3 or 4 fatigue, grade 3 or 4 infections and pulmonary/respiratory grade 3 or 4 toxicities.
Satraplatin, an investigational drug, is a member of the platinum family of compounds. Platinum-based drugs are a critical part of modern chemotherapy treatments and are used to treat a wide variety of cancers. All platinum drugs currently on the market require intravenous administration. Satraplatin is an orally bioavailable compound and is given as capsules that patients can take at home.
A Phase 3 registrational trial, called SPARC, is evaluating satraplatin plus prednisone versus placebo plus prednisone in 950 patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer whose prior chemotherapy has failed. Data from the trial on progression-free survival and on safety have been presented at recent medical conferences. In accordance with the recommendation of the independent Data Monitoring Board for the SPARC trial, patients who have not progressed continue to be treated and all patients will be followed for overall survival.
GPC Biotech has a co-development and license agreement with Pharmion GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pharmion Corporation, under which Pharmion has been granted exclusive commercialization rights to satraplatin for Europe and certain other territories. Pharmion has indicated it expects to complete the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for satraplatin for Europe in the second quarter of 2007. GPC Biotech in-licensed satraplatin from Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2002.
Satraplatin has been studied in clinical trials involving a range of tumors. Trials evaluating the effects of satraplatin in combination with radiation therapy, in c ombination with other cancer therapies and in a number of cancer types are underway or planned.
Pharmion is a biopharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing innovative products for the treatment of hematology and oncology patients in the U.S., Europe and additional international markets. Pharmion has a number of products on the market including the world's first approved epigenetic cancer drug, Vidaza(R), a DNA demethylating agent. For additional information about Pharmion, please visit Pharmion's website at http://www.pharmion.com.
About GPC Biotech
GPC Biotech AG is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing new anticancer drugs. GPC Biotech's lead product candidate satraplatin is currently under review by the U.S. FDA for hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients whose prior chemotherapy has failed. GPC Biotech is also developing a monoclonal antibody with a novel mechanism-of-action against a variety of lymphoid tumors, currently in Phase 1 clinical development, and has ongoing drug development and discovery programs that leverage its expertise in kinase inhibitors. GPC Biotech AG is headquartered in Martinsried/Munich (Germany), and has a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. For additional information, please visit GPC Biotech's Web site at http://www.gpc-biotech.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which express the current beliefs and expectations of the management of GPC Biotech AG and Pharmion Corporation, including statements about the status of the FDA review process. Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause future results, performance or achie vements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially depending on a number of factors, and we caution investors not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. In particular, there can be no guarantee that additional information relating to the safety, efficacy or tolerability of satraplatin may be discovered upon further analysis of data from the SPARC trial or analysis of additional data from other ongoing clinical trials for satraplatin. Furthermore, we cannot guarantee that satraplatin will be approved for marketing in a timely manner, if at all, by regulatory authorities nor that, if marketed, satraplatin will be a successful commercial product. We direct you to GPC Biotech's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005, Pharmion's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006, its most recent filings on Form 10-Q and other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional details on the important factors that may affect the future results, performance and achievements of either Pharmion or GPC Biotech. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and neither Pharmion nor GPC Biotech undertakes any obligation to update these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
Satraplatin has not yet been approved by the FDA in the U.S., the EMEA in Europe or any other regulatory authority and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding its safety or effectiveness. Only the relevant regulatory authorities can determine whether satraplatin is safe and effective for the use(s) being investigated.
Taxotere(R) (docetaxel) is a registered trademark of Aventis Pharma S.A.
CONTACT: GPC Biotech AG - Martin Braendle, Director, Investor Relat ions &Corporate Communications, +49 (0)89 8565 2693, , or inthe U.S.: Laurie Doyle, Director, Investor Relations & CorporateCommunications, +1-609-524-5884, ; PharmionCorporation - Breanna Burkart/Anna Sussman, Directors, Investor Relationsand Corporate Communications, +1-720-564-9150, ; AdditionalMedia Contacts for GPC Biotech - In Europe: Brian Hudspith of Maitland, +44(0)20 7379 5151, , or in the U.S.: David Schull ofRusso Partners, LLC, +1-212-845-4271, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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