This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Cell Therapeutics Enters Into Agreement To Acquire Pacritinib, A Novel Highly Selective JAK2 Inhibitor Phase 3 Candidate For Myelofibrosis

SEATTLE and SINGAPORE, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc.("CTI") (Nasdaq and MTA: CTIC) and S*BIO Pte Ltd announced today that the companies have entered into an asset purchase agreement pursuant to which CTI would acquire world-wide rights to S*BIO's pacritinib, a highly selective JAK2 inhibitor. Pacritinib is an oral JAK2 (Janus Associated Kinase 2) selective inhibitor that has demonstrated encouraging clinical benefit in phase 1 and 2 clinical studies in patients with primary myelofibrosis (MF) or MF secondary to other myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). Pacritinib has orphan drug designation in the U.S. and Europe for myelofibrosis.

"JAK2 dysregulation is associated with a broad range of difficult-to-treat illnesses, including cancers and autoimmune diseases, and is one of the most exciting potential new targets in cancer therapy today," said James A. Bianco, M.D., CEO of Cell Therapeutics, Inc. "We believe a highly selective JAK2 inhibitor that also inhibits the JAK2 clonal mutation (JAK2V617F) offers a distinct biological and clinical advantage over marketed or development stage compounds which are non-selective inhibitors of the JAK pathway. We believe that the lack of suppression of red blood cell and platelet formation seen with pacritinib has the potential to satisfy a medical need not currently addressed with existing non-selective JAK1/JAK2 inhibitors."

"The acquisition of pacritinib is aligned with our strategy of becoming a leader in the treatment of blood related cancers and disorders. We are looking forward to build on the progress made by S*BIO," Bianco continued. "With Pixuvri™ approaching approval and launch in the EU, and tosedostat and pacritinib entering phase 3 our late stage portfolio addresses a full complement of blood related cancers ranging from MPN to MDS, leukemia and lymphoma."

"JAK inhibitors are a very exciting new class of targeted agents that provide effective treatment in a previously difficult to treat disease called myelofibrosis," stated Srdan Verstovsek, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas and Executive Committee Member, International Working Group for Myelofibrosis. "Pacritinib is a highly specific JAK2 inhibitor that does not appear to cause suppression of platelets or red blood cells as seen with other treatments, while reducing enlarged spleen and improving disease related debilitating symptoms in patients with myelofibrosis. I am looking forward to working with Cell Therapeutics in developing this agent for patients with myelofibrosis who present with low blood counts or develop them on therapy."

"We are most impressed with CTI's experienced team and believe that they are the ideal company to further develop pacritinib, S*BIO's most advanced program," commented Ms. Tamar Howson, S*BIO's CEO. S*BIO is a privately-held biotechnology company focused on the research and clinical development of novel targeted small molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer with leading programs around kinases and histone deacetylases (HDAC). S*BIO has strong links with a network of medical oncologists in Asia Pacific and its investors include Bio*One Capital a subsidiary of EDBI, Aravis Ventures, Mitsui Ventures and other international funds.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, CTI will make an upfront payment of $15 million and issue $15 million shares of unregistered preferred stock convertible into common stock in CTI. The agreement also includes regulatory success- and sales-based milestone payments, as well as single digit royalties on net sales. CTI will be solely responsible for development and commercialization activities of pacritinib worldwide. The agreement will be subject to satisfaction of certain closing conditions. The terms of the agreement will be provided in more detail in a Form 8-K to be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

About Janus Associated Kinase (JAK)

The JAK family of enzymes are a central component in signal transduction pathways, which are critical to normal blood cell growth and development as well as inflammatory cytokine expression and immune responses. When dysregulated by activating mutations, uncontrolled blood cell growth can occur accompanied by inflammation and immune system activation contributing to disease manifestations in MPN. Autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis also have activation of this pathway and JAK inhibitors are in development for these disorders. In addition, activation of the JAK2 pathway and the related FLT3 pathway (whether by activating mutations or other causes) is frequently associated with leukemia, and lymphoma. Pacritinib inhibits both JAK2 and FLT3 suggesting potential use in treating such blood related cancers.

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,982.59 +22.02 0.13%
S&P 500 1,978.91 +0.57 0.03%
NASDAQ 4,444.9090 -4.6550 -0.10%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs