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Biotech Stock Mailbag: Cell Therapeutics

The Biotech Mailbag is making a comeback! I've been delinquent with this column lately, so please accept my apologies.

The important thing is that the Mailbag has returned, and I promise to be better about delivery. My column Tuesday that took a bearish stance on Cell Therapeutics (CTIC), CEO Jim Bianco and the company's cancer drug pixantrone generated a ton of email from readers, most of it angry stuff, so I want to devote this entire space to the topic.

Tomorrow, I'll post a bonus Mailbag tackling other reader email.

Let's get started with a response to my column from Dan Eramian, Cell Therapeutics' public relations chieftain:

"It's hard to respond to your Tuesday tirade against Cell Therapeutics since (CTI) it was mostly opinion, and crystal ball pieces don't need facts. Your personal views about CTI and its management did come through loud and clear. As for your business acumen, I don't know any investor who doesn't think it's a good idea to reduce company debt, and I don't know what medical background you have to pronounce pixantrone's medical benefits.

"I do know that CTI bought Trisenox for $12 million in stock and sold it for $70 millon. I do know CTI bought Zevalin for $10 million and sold it for $31 million. Both drugs continue to help cancer patients. The company also raised $64 million in the first five months of 2009 when most small biotechs are starving for resources. That spells investor confidence. Just the facts man, just the facts."

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