SEATTLE, July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC) today announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a non-departmental public body of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, has notified CTI and issued a statement on their website stating that CTI's patient access scheme has been approved by the Department of Health and the appeal stage of this appraisal topic is suspended. The draft final appraisal document (FAD) and evaluation report have been removed from the NICE website, since it is no longer relevant. NICE has agreed that the Appraisal Committee will consider the new evidence on the cost effectiveness of PIXUVRI at its meeting on 11 September 2013. "We are very pleased to receive this positive notice and look forward to collaborating with NICE during the final stage of the process in order to bring this new approved therapy to patients in the UK with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the 3 rd line salvage setting," said James A. Bianco, M.D., President and CEO of CTI. In May 2012, the European Commission (EC) granted conditional marketing authorization in the European Union (E.U.) for PIXUVRI as a monotherapy for adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell NHL based on the results of the EXTEND, or PIX301, pivotal randomized Phase 3 clinical trial. PIXUVRI was made available to patients in eight countries in the European Union in the fourth quarter of 2012, and some patients in other countries have already started to receive the treatment. Prior to the approval of PIXUVRI in the E.U., there were no approved agents or standard of care in this disease. The PIX301 trial was designed utilizing agents in the comparator arm that have anti-tumor activity in relapsed disease and are typically employed as palliative therapy for these patients. About PIXUVRI (pixantrone)PIXUVRI is a novel aza-anthracenedione with unique structural and physiochemical properties. Unlike related compounds, PIXUVRI forms stable DNA adducts and in preclinical models has superior anti-lymphoma activity compared to related compounds. PIXUVRI was structurally designed so that it cannot bind iron and perpetuate oxygen radical production or form a long-lived hydroxyl metabolite -- both of which are the putative mechanisms for anthracycline induced acute and chronic cardiotoxicity. These novel pharmacologic properties allow PIXUVRI to be administered to patients with near maximal lifetime exposure to anthracyclines without unacceptable rates of cardiotoxicity. In May 2012, the European Commission (EC) granted conditional marketing authorization for PIXUVRI as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive NHL. The benefit of PIXUVRI treatment has not been established in patients when used as fifth line or greater chemotherapy in patients who are refractory to last therapy. The Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) has the full prescribing information, including the safety and efficacy profile of PIXUVRI in the approved indication. The SmPC is available at www.pixuvri.eu. CTI is currently accruing patients into a Phase 3 trial comparing PIXUVRI and rituximab with gemcitabine and rituximab in the setting of aggressive B-cell NHL. PIXUVRI does not have marketing approval in the United States. About Non-Hodgkin LymphomaNon-Hodgkin lymphoma is the sixth most common cancer in the UK; in 2010, 12,180 people were diagnosed with the disease. 1 NHL is caused by the abnormal proliferation of lymphocytes, cells that are key to the functioning of the immune system. It usually originates in lymph nodes and spreads through the lymphatic system. NHL can be broadly classified into two main forms—aggressive and indolent NHL. Aggressive NHL is a rapidly growing form of the disease that moves into advanced stages much faster than indolent NHL, which progresses more slowly. There are many subtypes of NHL, but aggressive B-cell NHL is the most common and accounts for about 50 percent of NHL cases. 2 After initial therapy for aggressive NHL with anthracycline-based combination therapy, one-third of patients typically develop progressive disease. 3 Approximately half of these patients are likely to be eligible for intensive second-line treatment and stem cell transplantation, although 50 percent are expected not to respond. 3 For those patients who fail to respond or relapse following second-line treatment, treatment options are limited, and usually palliative only. 3About Conditional Marketing AuthorizationSimilar to accelerated approval regulations in the United States, conditional marketing authorizations are granted in the E.U. to medicinal products with a positive benefit/risk assessment that address unmet medical needs and whose availability would result in a significant public health benefit. A conditional marketing authorization is renewable annually. Under the provisions of the conditional marketing authorization for PIXUVRI, CTI will be required to complete a post-marketing study aimed at confirming the clinical benefit previously observed. The European Medicines Agency's (the EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has accepted PIX306, CTI's ongoing randomized controlled Phase 3 clinical trial, which compares PIXUVRI-rituximab to gemcitabine-rituximab in patients who have relapsed after one to three prior regimens for aggressive B‑cell NHL and who are not eligible for autologous stem cell transplant. As a condition of approval, CTI has agreed to have available the PIX306 clinical trial results by June 2015.