March 7, 2007

Poniard Pharmaceuticals And The Scripps Research Institute Broaden Research Collaboration

The expanded collaboration will include the discovery of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitors to treat cancer and will be co-led by David Schlaepfer, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and Chris Liang, Ph.D., director of medicinal chemistry at Scripps Florida.

Poniard and Scripps' initial scientific collaboration represented the first major biotech collaboration for Scripps Florida, a division of The Scripps Research Institute in Palm Beach County. In addition to FAK inhibitors, the research initiative is focusing on discovering novel, small-molecule protein kinase inhibitors as therapeutic agents, including cancer treatments.

"We are pleased to have negotiated this broadened research collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute under the terms of our existing agreement, which enables us to access scientific expertise at both the Scripps La Jolla and Palm Beach County sites," said Jerry McMahon, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Poniard. "Dr. Schlaepfer is an international expert in the study of FAK, and we believe that he will be an invaluable resource in our drug discovery efforts on this exciting and promising new cancer target."

Dr. Schlaepfer's research at Scripps focuses on molecular signaling that regulates cell motility and invasion. During cancer progression, tumor cells can acquire a highly motile and invasive phenotype. These properties directly promote tumor spread and metastasis. As FAK is commonly overexpressed in malignant human tumors, Dr. Schlaepfer is employing multiple strategies to inhibit FAK activity within tumor cells. He is the author of several papers on this topic, including those published in the Journal of Cell Biology, Cancer Research, Nature Cell Biology and Oncogene.

"FAK is associated with the invasion and metastasis of tumor cells and has recently been implicated in chemoresistance," added Dr. McMahon. "It is possible that inhibitors of FAK may enhance the activity of picoplatin in the treatment of solid tumors. We are looking forward to collaborating with Dr. Schlaepfer on this critical research."


About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations, at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development. Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel. Scripps Research is headquartered in La Jolla, California. It also includes Scripps Florida, whose researchers focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. Currently operating from temporary facilities in Jupiter, Scripps Florida will move to its permanent campus in 2009.

About Poniard Pharmaceuticals

Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative oncology products to impact the lives of people with cancer. Picoplatin, the Company's lead product candidate, is a new generation platinum therapy with an improved safety profile. An intravenous chemotherapeutic agent, it is designed to overcome and prevent platinum resistance associated with chemotherapy in solid tumors. Picoplatin is currently being studied in clinical trials for the treatment of small cell lung, colorectal and hormone-refractory prostate cancers. As part of the Company's strategic goal of building a diverse oncology pipeline, the Company is collaborating with The Scripps Research Institute on the discovery of novel, small-molecule, multi-targeted protein kinase inhibitors and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitors. For additional information please visit

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's business model, drug development program and strategic collaborations and goals. The Company's actual results may differ materially from those indicated in these forward looking statements based on a number of factors, including anticipated operating losses, uncertainties associated with research, development, clinical trials, the results of later clinical testing and related regulatory approvals, future capital needs and uncertainty of additional financing, competition, uncertainties associated with intellectual property, dependence on third-party manufacturers, suppliers and collaborators, lack of sales and marketing experience, loss of key personnel, uncertainties associated with market acceptance, technology change and government regulation, general market conditions and the other risks and uncertainties described in the Company's current and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2006. 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.

© 2007 Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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

For Further Information:

Poniard Pharmaceuticals

Julie Rathbun
Corporate Communications

Contact: Keith McKeown
Scripps Research Institute

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