Cell Therapeutics' Pixantrone Phase III (EXTEND) Pivotal Trial Successful in Achieving Primary Endpoint

Complete Remission / Unconfirmed Complete Remission Rate 3.5 Fold Higher Compared to Standard Chemotherapy

SEATTLE, Nov. 11, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) announced today that it achieved the primary efficacy endpoint of its phase III EXTEND (PIX301) trial of pixantrone (BBR2778) for patients with advanced, relapsed aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) based on a preliminary intent to treat efficacy analysis. Patients randomized to treatment with pixantrone achieved a high rate of confirmed and unconfirmed complete remissions compared to patients treated with standard chemotherapy (14/70 (20.0%) for pixantrone arm compared to 4/70 (5.7%) for the standard chemotherapy arm, p = 0.02). No patient (0%) in the standard chemotherapy arm achieved a confirmed complete remission compared to 8/70 (11%) of pixantrone recipients. Pixantrone treatment also significantly increased the overall response rate (CR/uCR+PR) with (26/70 (37.1%) for pixantrone arm compared to 10/70 (14.3%) for the control arm, p = 0.003). CR/uCR and ORR were determined by an independent assessment panel that was blinded to the treatment assignments. The most common serious toxicities (>5%) seen in previous trials of pixantrone include grade 3 and 4 neutropenia and febrile neutropenia. Complete safety information is not yet available for the study, however, the study was monitored on an ongoing basis by an independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee and no serious concerns were raised. Seventy-four percent of patients discontinued therapy for disease progression or death, the majority of which were in the standard chemotherapy control arm.

CTI plans to submit complete study data for presentation at a major scientific conference. CTI also intends to request a pre-NDA meeting with the FDA and expects to begin submission of a rolling New Drug Application (NDA) to the FDA in early 2009.

"This positive phase III study is validation of Cell Therapeutics Inc.'s capabilities in acquiring attractive drug candidates, and designing and implementing a successful phase III trial," said James A. Bianco, M.D., CEO of Cell Therapeutics. "These data are consistent with the extensive experience with pixantrone in our phase I and phase II studies and demonstrate the ability to offer patients with advanced, relapsed NHL the potential to obtain a clinically meaningful response like a complete remission, despite having failed multiple other courses of chemotherapy or immuno-chemotherapy."

The EXTEND clinical trial is a phase III single-agent trial of pixantrone for patients with relapsed, aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who received two or more prior therapies and who were sensitive to treatment with anthracyclines. The trial was conducted at 130 sites in 17 countries. The trial enrolled 140 patients and patients were randomized to receive either pixantrone or another single-agent drug currently used for the treatment of this patient population and selected by the physician. The trial was designed to examine the complete remission (CR) or unconfirmed complete remission (uCR) rate, overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS). The study received Special Protocol Assessment approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004 and pixantrone has received fast track designation for this indication.

CTI intends to further evaluate additional details of the study and will provide complete safety and progression-free survival information comparing treatment assignments which is currently being assembled for analysis.

Cell Therapeutics will be presenting at the Rodman & Renshaw Healthcare Conference on November 11, 2008, 2008 at 10:45 am Eastern time and a webcast will be available at http://www.celltherapeutics.com.

About Pixantrone

Pixantrone (BBR 2778), a DNA intercalating antitumor agent that contains an aza-anthracenedione molecular structure, differentiating it from anthracycline chemotherapy agents, was discovered by our scientists in Bresso, Italy. Pixantrone is a novel DNA major groove binder that contains an aza-anthracenedione molecular structure, differentiating it from anthracycline chemotherapy agents. Anthracyclines have been shown to be very active clinically in a number of tumor types, such as lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer. For these diseases, anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens are effective in first-line (initial) treatment. However, they may cause cumulative heart damage that limits lifetime dosage and does not allow for retreatment. Pixantrone has been designed to reduce the potential for heart damage compared to currently available anthracyclines or anthracenediones without a loss in anti-tumor or immunomodulatory activities.

About Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is caused by the abnormal proliferation of white blood cells and normally spreads through the lymphatic system, a system of vessels that drains fluid from the body. NHL can be broadly classified into two main forms -- aggressive NHL, a rapidly spreading acute form of the disease, and indolent NHL, which progresses more slowly. According to the National Cancer Institute's SEER database there were nearly 400,000 people in the U.S. with NHL in 2004. The American Cancer Society estimates that in the United States 66,120 people are expected to be diagnosed with NHL in 2008. Additionally, approximately 19,160 are expected to die from this disease in 2008.

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 http://www.celltherapeutics.com.

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. 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 results of complete safety and progression free survival information for pixantrone which is still being assembled, the potential failure of pixantrone to prove safe and effective for treatment of relapsed aggressive NHL as determined by the FDA, determination the FDA that the PIX301 trial is insufficient to support an NDA filing, the Company'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 the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, the Company's most recent filings on Forms 10-K, 8-K, and 10-Q. 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
     E: media@ctiseattle.com
     http://www.CellTherapeutics.com/press_room

     Investors Contact:
     Ed Bell
     T: 206.272.4345
     Lindsey Jesch Logan
     T : 206.272.4347
     F : 206.272.4434
     E: invest@ctiseattle.com
     http://www.CellTherapeutics.com/investors

CONTACT: Media, Dan Eramian, +1-206-272-4343, Cell, +1-206-854-1200,, or Investors, Ed Bell, +1-206-272-4345, or LindseyJesch Logan, +1-206-272-4347, fax, +1-206-272-4434, ,all of Cell Therapeutics, Inc. media@ctiseattle.com invest@ctiseattle.com

Web site: http://www.celltherapeutics.com/

Ticker Symbol: (NASDAQ-NMS:CTIC)

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Posted: November 2008

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