June 14, 2012, SEATTLE /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. ("CTI") (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC), a company focused on translating science into novel cancer therapies, today announced that former OncoMed Pharmaceuticals executive, Steven E. Benner, M.D., M.H.S., has joined CTI as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer ("CMO"), reporting to James A. Bianco, M.D., Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Benner will take over all drug development activities at the company. Dr. Benner was previously senior vice president and chief medical officer at OncoMed, a venture-backed biotechnology company focused on the development of cancer stem cell targeting agents. Prior to OncoMed, he was CMO at Protein Design Labs ("PDL"), where he was accountable for all development activities including clinical development, clinical operations, biometry, regulatory affairs, and safety. He also served as Chair of the Portfolio and Clinical Development Management Committees of PDL. Before PDL he held several senior executive roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb in global development, life cycle management, and licensing and alliances.
"Dr. Benner brings to CTI his proven track record of success in advancing the development of innovative therapies for cancer patients," said Dr. Bianco. "His appointment is the first step in re-aligning our portfolio efforts, as we focus on advancing pacritinib into Phase III pivotal studies later this year."
With the new company initiative of the planned Pixuvri™ launch in Europe later this year, Jack W. Singer, M.D., will assume the newly-created role of Executive Vice President ("EVP") of Global Medical Affairs and Translational Medicine, responsible for cancer drug development strategy, global medical affairs, and life cycle management.
"Given Jack's impressive academic credentials, the respect he receives from an international network of key opinion leaders in the field, and his track record in oncology drug development, this was a natural promotion as we introduce Pixuvri™ in Europe," said Dr. Bianco."CTI has assembled an impressive late-stage portfolio of novel targeted therapies that address a spectrum of blood related cancers," said Dr. Benner. "With two drugs in Phase III and two more expected to enter Phase III trials within a year, this is an exciting and transformational time to join the team at CTI."