Cell Therapeutics' NHL Drug to Cost Europeans $29,000

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On 1 November 2012 principles at biopharmaceutical company Cell Therapeutics (CTI) held a conference call to discuss the company's third quarter earnings as well as other aspects of the company's product development that were important to investors.

Among the more eyebrow-raising moments of the conference call came when Cell Therapeutics' CEO James Bianco discussed Pixurvi (pixantrone), the company's lead oncology product. Pixurvi is intended for patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas who have failed two treatments (a 'third-line' therapy is another way to put it).

Pixurvi has had nothing but trouble trying to gain market approval from US regulators; notably, the FDA blasted CTI's phase III trial results concerning Pixurvi. The company turned its attention to Europe, where they were able to secure conditional market approval for the drug.

In this latest conference call, Bianco got specific about what kind of pricing Europeans should expect to see for Pixurvi: Somewhere in the range of $25,000 to $29,500 per patient, per year.

Pixurvi has a dismal performance record in clinical trials, and the conditional European approval means that they will continue recruiting for its PIX306 study, a randomized trial of pixantrone-rituximab versus gemcitabine-rituximab in " patients with aggressive B-cell NHL who failed between 1 and 3 lines of therapy" according to Bianco.

Source: SeekingAlpha

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