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FDA panel votes against Cell Therapeutics drug

Mon, 03/22/2010 - 1:17pm
The Associated Press

Shares of Cell Therapeutics Inc. tumbled Monday after a government advisory panel said there is not enough scientific evidence to justify approving the company's lymphoma drug candidate.

A cancer drug advisory panel unanimously recommended against approving the drug candidate pixantrone, the Seattle company said. The Food and Drug Administration is not required to follow the advice of its panels, but it often does so, and the vote appears to diminish the drug's chances for approval.

The company is seeking approval to market pixantrone as a treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in patients whose cancer has progressed despite treatment with at least two other therapies.

The FDA is scheduled to make a decision on the drug by April 23.

Shares of Cell Therapeutics lost 44 cents, or 48 percent, to close at 47 cents Monday. Trading had been halted until the early afternoon. The stock has ranged between 11 cents and $2.23 over the last year.

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