Tranche of $17.6 has already closed.

Poniard Pharmaceuticals reports that it has received a $27.6 million term loan from GE Healthcare Financial Services and Silicon Valley Bank. The money will fund the clinical investigation of picoplatin in various cancers.

The $27.6 million loan is for a term of 42 months and is split into two tranches. The initial tranche of $17.6 million closed on September 2. The second tranche may be drawn any time prior to December 15.

Poniard currently has a Phase III trial in small-cell lung cancer, Phase II studies in colorectal and prostate cancers, and a Phase I evaluation in solid tumors.

“This loan facility strengthens our financial position and allows us to operate through the completion of our Phase III SPEAR trial and into 2010, including preparing for commercialization,” according to Caroline Loewy, CFO. On June 30, the company’s reported cash and short-term investments of $75.1 million.

“The financing places Poniard in a better financial position to evaluate partnership opportunities for picoplatin and maximize its use in the marketplace with minimal dilution to our shareholders,” adds Jerry McMahon, Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Poniard.

Picoplatin is a platinum therapy with an improved safety profile relative to existing platinum-based cancer treatments, according to Poniard. Picoplatin is designed to overcome platinum resistance associated with chemotherapy in solid tumors.

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