Methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactide) copolymer (MPEG-PLA) was synthesized and used to make nanoparticles by the nanoprecipitation method for clinical administration of antineoplastic drugs. Paclitaxel was used as a prototype drug due to its excellent efficacy and commercially great success. The size and size distribution, surface morphology, surface charge and surface chemistry of the paclitaxel-loaded nanoparticles were then investigated by laser light scattering, atomic force microscopy, zeta-potential analyzer and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The drug encapsulation efficiency (EE) and in vitro release profile were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. The effects of various formulation parameters were evaluated. The prepared nanoparticles were found of spherical shape with size less than 100 nm. Zeta potential measurement and XPS analysis demonstrated the presence of PEG layer on the particle surface. Viscosity of the organic phase was found to be one of the main process factors for the size determination. The EE was found to be greatly influenced by the drug loading. The drug release pattern was biphasic with a fast release rate followed by a slow one. The particle suspension exhibited good steric stability in vitro. Such a nanoparticle formulation of paclitaxel can be expected to have long-circulating effects in circulation.