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FDA Sets Meeting Date in Early June to Discuss Re-submission of Pixantrone NDA for Accelerated Approval

SEATTLE, May 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. ("CTI") (NASDAQ: CTICD and MTA: CTIC) announced today that it will meet with the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration's (the "FDA") Office of Oncology Drug Products in early June  to discuss the re-submission of CTI's New Drug Application ("NDA") for pixantrone for accelerated approval to treat patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma ("NHL"). This meeting follows CTI's receipt of the FDA's Office of New Drugs' (the "OND") response to CTI's appeal as announced on May 3, 2011, which allows CTI the opportunity to resubmit the NDA to the FDA with additional information for consideration of accelerated approval of the NDA based on the PIX 301 trial. In the FDA's response to CTI's appeal, the FDA requested that CTI submit  two items—an additional review of radiographs by an  independent panel and additional information regarding circumstances of stopping the clinical trial prior to achieving the planned accrual  to assure reviewers that efficacy assessments were not involved in the decision to stop accrual early.

About Pixantrone

Pixantrone is a novel aza-anthracenedione that has distinct structural and physio-chemical properties that make its anti-tumor activity unique in this class of agents. Similar to anthracyclines, pixantrone inhibits Topo-isomerase II but unlike anthracyclines--rather than intercalation with DNA---- pixantrone alkylates DNA-- forming stable DNA adducts with particular specificity for CpG rich, hyper-methylated sites. These structural differences resulted in significantly enhanced anti-lymphoma activity compared to doxorubicin in preclinical models. In addition, the structural motifs on anthracycline-like agents that are responsible for the generation of oxygen free radicals and the formation of toxic drug-metal complexes have also been modified in pixantrone in an effort to prevent the binding of iron and perpetuation of superoxide production--both of which are the putative mechanism for anthracycline induced acute cardiotoxicity. These novel pharmacologic differences may allow re-introduction of anthracycline-like potency in the treatment of relapsed/refractory diffuse large lymphoma without unacceptable rates of cardiotoxicity.

About Cell Therapeutics, Inc.

Headquartered in Seattle, CTI is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing an integrated portfolio of oncology products aimed at making cancer more treatable. For additional information, please visit

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This press release includes forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties the outcome of which could materially and/or adversely affect actual future results and the market price of CTI's securities. Specifically, the risks and uncertainties that could affect the development of pixantrone include risks associated with preclinical and clinical developments in the biopharmaceutical industry in general, and with pixantrone in particular, including, without limitation, the potential failure of pixantrone to prove safe and effective for the treatment of relapsed or refractory diffuse large NHL and/or other tumors as determined by the FDA and/or the EMA, whether alone or in combination with rituximab, that accelerated approval by the FDA of pixantrone may not be possible or occur, that CTI may not be able to address satisfactorily the two key matters raised by the OND or other matters raised by the OND and/or the FDA, that CTI's interpretation of the guidance provided by the OND may be different than the intent of the OND, that the OND may change its guidance, that the PIX301 study may not be deemed successful, that a re-review of the pixantrone NDA may not be warranted and, if warranted, that the FDA may find pixantrone to not be safe and/or effective, that the PIX301 study may still be deemed to be a failed study, that the FDA may require an additional clinical trial of pixantrone, that if CTI conducts an additional clinical trial, it may not demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of pixantrone, that the FDA may not provide CTI with a meeting quickly, that CTI may not meet with the FDA in June 2011, that CTI may not be able to provide satisfactory information in response to the FDA's Complete Response letter, that CTI may not be able to re-submit the pixantrone NDA quickly, CTI's ability to continue to raise capital as needed to fund its operations, competitive factors, technological developments, costs of developing, producing and selling pixantrone, and the risk factors listed or described from time to time in CTI's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, CTI's most recent filings on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. Except as may be required by law, CTI does not intend to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Media Contact:

Dan Eramian
T: 206.272.4343
C: 206.854.1200

Investors Contact:

Ed Bell
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Lindsey Jesch Logan
T: 206.272.4347
F: 206.272.4434

Medical Information Contact:

T: 800.715.0944

SOURCE Cell Therapeutics, Inc.
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