Cell Therapeutics Appoints New Chief Medical Officer

Posted: June 14, 2012 at 7:12 am

June 14, 2012, SEATTLE /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. ("CTI") (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC), a company focused on translating science into novel cancer therapies, today announced that former OncoMed Pharmaceuticals executive, Steven E. Benner, M.D., M.H.S., has joined CTI as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer ("CMO"), reporting to James A. Bianco, M.D., Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Benner will take over all drug development activities at the company.Dr. Benner was previously senior vice president and chief medical officer at OncoMed, a venture-backed biotechnology company focused on the development of cancer stem cell targeting agents. Prior to OncoMed, he was CMO at Protein Design Labs ("PDL"), where he was accountable for all development activities including clinical development, clinical operations, biometry, regulatory affairs, and safety. He also served as Chair of the Portfolio and Clinical Development Management Committees of PDL. Before PDL he held several senior executive roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb in global development, life cycle management, and licensing and alliances.

"Dr. Benner brings to CTI his proven track record of success in advancing the development of innovative therapies for cancer patients," said Dr. Bianco. "His appointment is the first step in re-aligning our portfolio efforts, as we focus on advancing pacritinib into Phase III pivotal studies later this year."

With the new company initiative of the planned Pixuvri launch in Europe later this year, Jack W. Singer, M.D., will assume the newly-created role of Executive Vice President ("EVP") of Global Medical Affairs and Translational Medicine, responsible for cancer drug development strategy, global medical affairs, and life cycle management.

"Given Jack's impressive academic credentials, the respect he receives from an international network of key opinion leaders in the field, and his track record in oncology drug development, this was a natural promotion as we introduce Pixuvri in Europe," said Dr. Bianco.

"CTI has assembled an impressive late-stage portfolio of novel targeted therapies that address a spectrum of blood related cancers," said Dr. Benner. "With two drugs in Phase III and two more expected to enter Phase III trials within a year, this is an exciting and transformational time to join the team at CTI."

About Pixuvri (pixantrone)Pixuvri is a novel aza-anthracenedione with unique structural and physio-chemical properties. Unlike related compounds,Pixuvri forms stable DNA adducts and in preclinical models has superior anti-lymphoma activity compared to related compounds. Pixuvri was structurally designed so that it cannot bind iron and perpetuate oxygen radical production or form a long-lived hydroxyl metabolite -- both of which are the putative mechanisms for anthracycline induced acute and chronic cardiotoxicity. These novel pharmacologic properties allow Pixuvri to be administered to patients with near maximal lifetime exposure to anthracyclines without unacceptable rates of cardiotoxicity, and, because Pixuvri is not a vesicant, allow it to be safely delivered via a peripheral intravenous catheter.

In May 2012 Pixuvri received conditional marketing authorization in the EU as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive NHL. The benefit of pixantrone treatment has not been established in patients when used as fifth line or greater chemotherapy in patients who are refractory to last therapy.The Summary of Product Characteristics ("SmPC") has the full prescribing information, including the safety and efficacy profile of Pixuvri in the approved indication. The SmPC is available at http://ec.europa.eu/health/documents/communityregister/html/h764.htm#ProcList.

Pixuvri is currently available in the EU through Named Patient Programs.

Pixuvri does not have marketing approval in the United States.

About Conditional Marketing AuthorizationSimilar to accelerated approval regulations inthe United States, conditional marketing authorizations are granted in the EU to medicinal products with a positive benefit/risk assessmentthat address unmet medical needs and whose availability would result in a significant public health benefit. A conditional marketing authorization is renewable annually. Under the provisions of the conditional marketing authorization for Pixuvri, CTI will be required to complete a post-marketing study aimed at confirming the clinical benefit previously observed.

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Cell Therapeutics Appoints New Chief Medical Officer

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