May 10, 2010 / 8:39 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 2-Poniard says resuming regulatory efforts on key drug

* Says developing registration strategies for picoplatin

* Says exploring strategic alternatives to support picoplatin

* Existing cash enough to fund ops at least through 2010 end

* Q1 loss/shr $0.29 vs est loss/shr $0.23

* Shares close up 22 pct (Adds analyst comments)

May 10 (Reuters) - Poniard Pharmaceuticals Inc PARD.O said it would resume efforts to gain regulatory approval of its cancer drug, picoplatin, sending its shares up 22 percent.

The company, which also posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss on Monday, had in March said it would suspend efforts to get approval for the drug after it failed to show significant overall survival benefit in late-stage studies in small-cell lung-cancer. [ID:nSGE62N0CD]

Funding for further development of picoplatin, which has finished mid-stage studies in prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, has been dependant on a partner.

Poniard said it was continuing to explore strategic alternatives to support the picoplatin program in lung, colorectal, prostate and ovarian cancers.

Rodman & Renshaw analyst Simos Simeonidis said going forward, there could still be some positive upside for the stock, as the picoplatin program could interest potential partners.

“Although they are in a difficult position right now, I think they will be able to find a partner willing to invest in some late-stage trial, might not immediately, but by later part of this year,” Simeonidis added.

Poniard said its existing cash and investment securities, which totaled $38.3 million at March end, would provide adequate resources to fund operations at least through the end of 2010.

For its first quarter, the company reported a net loss of $11.9 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $13.0 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year ago quarter.

Analysts on average had expected the company to post a loss of 23 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company closed up 22 percent at $1.27 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Krishnakali Sengupta in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)

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