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Oct 07, 2002
 |  BioCentury  |  Product Development

Satraplatin finds friends

With no money to finance Phase III trials of its satraplatin oral platinum cancer therapy, NeoTherapeutics Inc. chose to partner the compound with familiar people: GPC Biotech AG's recently assembled clinical development team. The team worked with NEOT management while they were at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. to develop carboplatin and cisplatin.

NEOT (Irvine, Calif.) had only $2.7 million at June 30 and raised about $1 million in July. "Our market capitalization is about $2.5 million right now," said John McManus, vice-president of finance and strategic planning. "So the idea of going out to raise the money to develop the drug was a little bit daunting."

By contrast, GPC had E128 million ($125.6 million) in cash at June 30, making it one of Europe's best-financed companies. According to CEO Bernd Seizinger, Phase III trials of satraplatin will cost about $11 million each, spread over several years.

"Typically in a Phase III trial for hormone-resistant prostate cancer, you would have anywhere from 350 to 1,000 patients in each trial," he said. "We're assuming that two Phase III trials and regulatory costs will be about $30 million."...

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