Healthcare Industry News:  fast track designation 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology

 News Release - February 23, 2007

Satraplatin Shown to Significantly Reduce Risk of Disease Progression in Advanced Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Patients

- Highly Statistically Significant Results for Improvement in Progression-Free Survival

- Progression-Free Survival Results Consistent Irrespective of Prior Chemotherapy Treatment, Including Taxotere(R)

- Satraplatin Was Well Tolerated With Myelosuppression the Most Commonly Observed Toxicity

- Data Being Presented Today at ASCO Prostate Cancer Symposium in Orlando, Florida

- GPC Biotech Conference Call Scheduled Today at 9:00 AM EST

- Pharmion Investor Event Scheduled Today at 6:30 PM EST

BOULDER, Colo., MARTINSRIED/MUNICH, Germany, WALTHAM, Mass., and PRINCETON, N.J., Feb. 23 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Pharmion Corporation (Nasdaq: PHRM ) and GPC Biotech AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: GPC; TecDAX index; Nasdaq: GPCB) today announced that final progression-free survival (PFS) results for the double-blind, randomized satraplatin Phase 3 registrational trial, the SPARC trial (Satraplatin and Prednisone Against Refractory Cancer) are being presented today at the ASCO Prostate Cancer Symposium in Orlando, Florida. The trial is evaluating satraplatin plus prednisone versus placebo plus prednisone in 950 patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) who have failed prior chemotherapy. All analyses of PFS being presented were conducted on an intent-to-treat basis.

The study data show that satraplatin significantly reduces the risk of disease progression in these patients using the protocol-specified log-rank test. The hazard ratio of 0.6 (95% CI: 0.5-0.7, p<0.00001), which was first reported in September 2006, adjusted for nine pre-specified prognostic factors. Using a more conservative analysis, which adjusted only for the three pre-specified stratification factors, the hazard ratio is 0.67 (95% CI: 0.57-0.77, p=0.0000003). These hazard ratio numbers correspond to a reduction in relative risk of disease progression of 40% and 33%, respectively. Both analyses are being presented today in Orlando.

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. Overall survival data are expected to be available later this year. GPC Biotech recently completed the New Drug Application (NDA) submission for satraplatin to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pharmion expects to complete the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for Europe in the second quarter of 2007.

Daniel Petrylak, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, Director of the Genitourinary Oncology Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, and a Principal Investigator in the SPARC trial, said: "As there are currently no approved therapies for patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer whose disease has already failed on one chemotherapy regimen, satraplatin has the potential to address a mounting area of unmet medical need. The data I am presenting today show statistically significant results in progression-free survival in favor of those patients treated with satraplatin. These results are consistent no matter what the prior chemotherapy treatment, including Taxotere®."

All disease progression events were adjudicated by an independent expert review committee of medical oncologists and radiologists. The vast majority of progression events were based on radiological progressions and pain progressions. Pain associated with bone metastases is the dominant cause of morbidity in patients with metastatic HRPC. Increase in prostate specific antigen (PSA) was not part of the progression endpoint. PFS at the median demonstrated a 14% improvement in patients who received satraplatin plus prednisone (11.1 weeks) compared to patients who received prednisone plus placebo (9.7 weeks). The improvement seen in PFS by patients treated with satraplatin increased over time. PFS at the 75th percentile showed an 81% improvement for patients in the satraplatin arm (34.6 weeks) versus patients in the placebo arm (19.1 weeks). At six months, 30% of patients in the satraplatin arm had not progressed, compared to 17% of patients in the control arm. At twelve months, 16% of patients who received satraplatin had not progressed, compared to 7% of patients in the control arm.

The median number of cycles was four for the satraplatin group compared to two for the control group. Nearly 40% of patients treated with satraplatin received five or more cycles of treatment compared to approximately 20% of patients in the control arm.

The improvement in PFS in the satraplatin arm was not affected by the type of prior chemotherapy; importantly, the improvement was similar for patients who had received prior Taxotere® (docetaxel), as well as those who received other types of chemotherapy treatments. Fifty-one percent of patients in the trial were previously treated with Taxotere. The hazard ratio for patients in the SPARC trial who were previously treated with Taxotere was 0.67 (95% CI: 0.54-0.83; p=0.0006, adjusted for the pre-specified stratification factors) and therefore numerically equivalent to the entire study population.

Safety findings were consistent with previous clinical studies involving satraplatin. The reported adverse reactions were mostly mild to moderate in severity. 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 neutropenia. Eight percent of patients in the satraplatin arm experienced grade 3 or 4 gastrointestinal toxicities, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. 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.

"We are delighted with the strong detailed results presented today from the satraplatin SPARC Phase 3 trial," said Bernd R. Seizinger, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of GPC Biotech. "Moving forward, we plan to work closely with the FDA regarding our application for marketing approval of satraplatin in the U.S. We also are continuing to aggressively build our marketing and sales organization in the U.S. to prepare for a potential launch of satraplatin later this year."

"We have been very pleased with the response of the prostate cancer treatment community to the SPARC data and believe that satraplatin will become a very important treatment option for men with HRPC," said Patrick J. Mahaffy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmion Corporation. "We are currently preparing our regulatory submission and expect to file a marketing authorization application for satraplatin in the EU by the end of the second quarter."

The SPARC trial is a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled multinational Phase 3 trial assessing satraplatin plus prednisone as a second-line chemotherapy treatment for patients with HRPC. A total of 950 patients were accrued to the trial at approximately 170 clinical sites in sixteen countries on four continents. In addition to the results presented today, the companies expect that more data from the SPARC trial will be presented at future upcoming major medical conferences.

GPC Biotech and Pharmion Investor Events

GPC Biotech will hold a conference call today at 9:00 A.M. EST/15:00 CET to which participants may listen via live webcast, accessible through the Company's Web site at, or via telephone. Dr. Daniel Petrylak will participate in the call, in addition to corporate management. The dial-in numbers for the call are as follows:

Participants from Europe: 0049 (0)69 2222 2246 or 0044 (0)20 7138 0835

Participants from the U.S.: 1-718-354-1172

Pharmion will hold an investor event today at 6:30 P.M. EST in Emerald 4 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando, Florida. For those unable to attend, the event will be accessible via a teleconference and will be webcast live on our website at The dial in for U.S. participants is 1.800.901.5231 and 1.617.786.2961 for International participants. The passcode is 84420838. Corporate management will briefly review today's data and then a panel of European physicians will discuss their clinical experience with satraplatin and its potential role in the treatment of HRPC in Europe.

About Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the U.S. and Europe. Approximately 219,000 men in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with the disease in 2007 and over 27,000 men are expected to die from the disease. In the European Union, over 200,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed, and over 60,000 patients are expected to die each year. Since the incidence of prostate cancer increases with age, the aging of the overall population is expected to further increase the number of prostate cancer patients.

Most patients diagnosed with prostate cancer initially receive surgery or radiation therapy, and some of these patients are cured. For many others, though, the disease recurs. At this point, the recurrent disease is treated with hormone therapy, and most patients initially respond well to this treatment. Eventually, however, the tumor cells become resistant to the hormones -- or "hormone-refractory" -- and the tumor again progresses. Increasingly, chemotherapy is being used as an effective first-line treatment for hormone-refractory prostate cancer. However, it is not a cure, and so this is creating a need for effective therapeutic options for these patients once they have progressed.

About Satraplatin

Satraplatin, an investigational drug, is a member of the platinum family of compounds. Over the past two decades, platinum-based drugs have become a critical part of modern chemotherapy treatments and are used to treat a wide variety of cancers. Unlike the platinum drugs currently on the market, all of which require intravenous administration, satraplatin is an orally bioavailable compound and is given as capsules that patients can take at home.

GPC Biotech and Pharmion have a co-development and license agreement under which Pharmion has been granted exclusive commercialization rights to satraplatin for Europe and certain other territories.

Satraplatin has been studied in clinical trials involving a range of tumors. Trials evaluating the effects of satraplatin in combination with radiation therapy, in combination with other cancer therapies and in a number of cancer types are underway or planned. GPC Biotech in-licensed satraplatin from Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2002. Additional information on satraplatin can be found in the Anticancer Programs section of the GPC Biotech Web site at

About Pharmion

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®, a DNA demethylating agent. For additional information about Pharmion, please visit Pharmion's website at

About GPC Biotech

GPC Biotech AG is a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing new anticancer drugs. GPC Biotech's lead product candidate -- satraplatin -- has achieved target enrollment in a Phase 3 registrational trial as a second-line chemotherapy treatment in hormone-refractory prostate cancer. The U.S. FDA has granted fast track designation to satraplatin for this indication, and GPC Biotech has completed the rolling NDA submission process for this compound. 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 its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary has sites in Waltham, Massachusetts and Princeton, New Jersey. For additional information, please visit GPC Biotech's Web site at

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 relating to results of the SPARC trial and statements relating to the potential efficacy and safety profile of satraplatin. 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 achievements 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, 2005, 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.

The scientific information discussed in this press release related to satraplatin is investigative. 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® (docetaxel) is a registered trademark of Aventis Pharma S.A.

Source: Pharmion

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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