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Advisory Committee Says Trial Data Does Not Support Approval of Pixantrone in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 22, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. ("CTI") (Nasdaq and MTA: CTIC) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (the "FDA") Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee ("ODAC") panel voted unanimously that clinical trial data was not adequate to support approval of pixantrone for patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ("NHL"). Currently, there are no approved drugs for patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive NHL that have received two or more prior therapies. Pixantrone would be the first drug approved by the FDA for this indication. The FDA is not bound by the recommendations of its advisory committee and the agency is expected to make a decision whether to approve pixantrone for this use by April 23, 2010.

"We continue to believe that pixantrone should be considered as a treatment option for patients with relapsed/refractory aggressive NHL. There is a significant medical need to bring safe and effective therapies to this very sick patient population," said James A. Bianco, M.D., CEO of CTI. "We are committed to working closely with the FDA to address the committee's comments as quickly as we can."

About Pixantrone
Pixantrone (BBR 2778), is a novel topoisomerase II inhibitor with an aza-anthracenedione molecular structure that differentiates it from the anthracyclines and other related chemotherapy agents. Anthracyclines are the cornerstone therapeutic for the treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer. Although they are sufficiently effective to be used as first-line (initial) treatment, they cause cumulative heart damage that may result in congestive heart failure many years later. As a result, there is a lifetime limit of anthracycline doses and most patients who previously have been treated with an anthracycline are not able to receive further anthracycline treatment if their disease returns. It also can be administered through a peripheral vein rather than a central implanted catheter as required for other drugs in this class.

Source: Cell Therapeutics, Inc.

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