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Cell Therapeutics CEO Should Resign: Opinion

Stocks in this article: CTIC

Even in an era of skyrocketing CEO compensation, your take-home pay is particularly galling because Cell Therapeutics' drug-development track record -- of which you're responsible -- is short on accomplishments but long on failures, setbacks and screw-ups.

Jim, if the fight against cancer is a war, you've been on the losing side of the battlefield your entire career.

Take pixantrone. This should have been a layup. Pixantrone belongs to a common and well-understood class of chemotherapy drugs. It's a me-too drug, for heck's sake! All Cell Therapeutics probably had to do to get pixantrone approved by the Food and Drug Administration was conduct a single, successful pivotal trial in a population of advanced lymphoma patients who were essentially out of treatment options. I'm hard pressed to think of a lower regulatory hurdle for a cancer drug.

But still, Cell Therapeutics, under your management, screwed up pixantrone's approval completely!

Yet in typical Bianco fashion, you grabbed the microphone Friday afternoon and acted as if nothing bad had happened. You didn't apologize for your colossal blunder. You took no responsibility for pixantrone's rejection. You simply moved on to the next fantastical story -- making yet more promises and proclamations about a new pixantrone pivotal trial that will be completed in a ridiculously short time period and with widespread support and participation from leading U.S. lymphoma specialists.

Jim, who are these U.S. doctors supporting pixantrone today? Please, don't tell us they're the same doctors who cared so little about pixantrone the first time around that they chose to enroll just eight patients across the entire country in the previous phase III study, according to the FDA.

And do you honestly expect us to believe that you're going to reach an agreement with FDA on a new pixantrone trial and line up research centers to run the trial and find the money to pay for the trial and enroll your first patient by September?

You called that timeline a "target" on Friday's conference call. I call it just another serving of Bianco B.S.

More malarkey from Friday's call, when you said, "We've been pleased with the expressed interest amongst large pharma companies, and the potential to co-develop and co-promote pixantrone with us in the U.S. and to take the lead on the product outside the U.S."

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