Poniard Pharmaceuticals and AltheaDx Sign Agreement

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: PARD), a biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology, today announced that it has selected AltheaDx, Inc.'s Express Pathway program to identify molecular signatures which may be correlated to platinum resistance.

Although platinum-based therapy is the standard of care for a broad range of solid tumors, its efficacy in most cancers is limited by the development of platinum resistance. Picoplatin, Poniard's lead product candidate, is a new generation platinum agent designed to overcome platinum resistance. The development of molecular signatures of platinum resistance may allow the prediction of clinical response to picoplatin treatment and may improve outcomes for patients with platinum-resistant cancers.

"We hope to better understand some of the biological mechanisms behind cancer's resurgence after platinum treatment, a significant treatment limiting problem for many patients with solid tumors," said Jerry McMahon, Chairman and CEO of Poniard Pharmaceuticals. "AltheaDx's high throughput gene expression platform facilitates the identification of molecular signature of platinum resistance that can guide therapeutic choices."

"Our mission at AltheaDx is to bring cancer diagnostics into clinical use," said David Macdonald, CEO of AltheaDx. "We are excited about Poniard's choice of our Express Pathway program to expedite identification, validation, and delivery of clinically valid molecular biomarkers to help guide more informed therapeutic decisions."

About Poniard Pharmaceuticals

Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative oncology products to impact the lives of people with cancer. Picoplatin, the Company's lead platform product candidate, is a new generation platinum therapy with an improved safety profile relative to existing platinum-based cancer therapies. Picoplatin is designed to overcome platinum resistance associated with chemotherapy in solid tumors, and is being studied in multiple cancer indications, combinations and formulations. Clinical trials of intravenous picoplatin include a Phase 3 trial in small cell lung cancer and Phase 2 trials in metastatic colorectal and hormone-refractory prostate cancers, as well as a Phase 1 clinical trial of oral picoplatin in solid tumors. Picoplatin has not been approved by any regulatory authority for use in humans. For additional information please visit http:/www.poniard.com.

About Althea Diagnostics, Inc.

AltheaDx is bringing cancer diagnostics into clinical use. The ultimate goal of AltheaDx is to win the war against cancer by reducing the time, risk, and cost of drug development and by providing comprehensive oncology testing services. For additional information, please visit http://www.altheadx.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's business objectives and strategic goals, drug development plans, clinical trials and the potential safety and efficacy of its products in development. The Company's actual results may differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including risks and uncertainties associated with the Company's research and development activities; the results of pre-clinical and clinical testing; the receipt and timing of required regulatory approvals; the market's acceptance of the Company's proposed products; the Company's anticipated operating losses, need for future capital and ability to obtain future funding; competition from third parties; the Company's ability to preserve and protect intellectual property rights; the Company's dependence on third-party manufacturers and suppliers; the Company's lack of sales and marketing experience; the Company's ability to attract and retain key personnel; changes in technology, government regulation and general market conditions; and the risks and uncertainties described in the Company's current and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward- looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

(C) 2008 Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Poniard and Poniard Pharmaceuticals are trademarks of Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

SOURCE Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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