Cell Therapeutics Settles Yet Another Lawsuit

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Seattle biotech company Cell Therapeutics Inc (CTI) is enjoying a spike in its otherwise lackluster stock thanks to the impending arrival of their lead oncology product Pixurvi on the European market this fall.

When they begin to generate revenue among aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients who have failed two prior therapies, the revenue won't be the first bit of cash the two-decades-old company has ever seen but it might be the first that it has earned, since prior holdings (Trisonex and Zevalin) were both purchased from other companies.

CTI did despicable things with Trisonex, namely operating an off-label marketing scheme to convince doctors to prescribe the arsenic-based anti-cancer drug to cancer patients for whom it had not been indicated or approved by the FDA. They did despicable things to Zevalin too--chiefly, they failed to turn such a winning treatment into an actual winner and sold it off.

What little revenue the company has seen in the recent past has tended to go towards paying fines and settling lawsuits.

They settled with the Justice Department over Trisonex in 2007 for $10.8 million.

They settled a breech of contract dispute with a financial management company in 2008 by paying over $5 million.

This past summer they settled the class action lawsuit brought against them by shareholders in 2011 for a reported $19 million.

Pixurvi's European approval might have company principles and shareholders happy, but patients exposed to this ineffective and cardiotoxic garbage will not be.

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