SEATTLE, Jan. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC) today announced that it has received notification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the partial clinical hold on tosedostat (IND 075503) has been removed and all studies underway may continue. Tosedostat is a first-in-class selective inhibitor of aminopeptidases, which are required by tumor cells to provide amino acids necessary for growth and tumor cell survival, and is under development for the treatment of blood-related cancers. Tosedostat is currently being studied in the United States and European Union in investigator-sponsored and cooperative group-sponsored Phase 2 trials in elderly patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). "We are pleased that the FDA has responded favorably to the tosedostat clinical trial data provided and removed the partial clinical hold to allow further development of tosedostat in ongoing and future studies," said John Pagel, MD, PhD, Associate Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Associate Professor, Medical Oncology Division, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Principal Investigator in the tosedostat first-line AML/MDS trial. About AML and MDS Approximately 14,590 new cases of AML were expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2013. 1 As of January 2008 an estimated 30,993 people were living with (or were in remission from) AML. 2 Although AML can occur at any age, adults aged 60 years and older are more likely to develop the disease than younger people. AML is a cancer characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells. AML may develop from the progression of other diseases such as myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a blood cancer that also affects the bone marrow leading to a decrease in circulating red blood cells. AML is the most common acute leukemia affecting adults, and its incidence increases with age. The symptoms of AML are caused by replacement of normal bone marrow with leukemic cells, which causes a drop in red blood cells, platelets, and normal white blood cells leading to infections and bleeding. AML progresses rapidly and is typically fatal within weeks or months if left untreated. Although a substantial proportion of younger individuals who develop AML can be cured, AML in the elderly typically responds poorly to standard therapy with few complete remissions. About Tosedostat Tosedostat is an oral aminopeptidase inhibitor that has demonstrated significant anti-tumor responses in blood-related cancers and solid tumors in Phase 1–2 clinical trials. CTI has an exclusive marketing and co-development agreement with Chroma Therapeutics Ltd. for drug candidate tosedostat in North, Central and South America.