SEATTLE, Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --CTI BioPharma Corp. (CTI or the Company) (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC) announced today that pacritinib has been granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of intermediate and high risk myelofibrosis, including but not limited to patients with disease related thrombocytopenia, patients experiencing treatment emergent thrombocytopenia on other JAK2 therapy or patients who are intolerant to or whose symptoms are sub-optimally managed on other JAK2 therapy. Pacritinib is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor with dual activity against JAK2 and FLT3. The drug candidate is currently being evaluated in two Phase 3 clinical trials, known as the PERSIST program, for patients with myelofibrosis. "We are very pleased that the pacritinib development program in myelofibrosis has been granted Fast Track designation, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the FDA on this important drug candidate," stated James A. Bianco, M.D., President and CEO. "We believe that pacritinib's unique profile has the potential to serve an unmet medical need that currently exists in this patient population, particularly for those patients with disease or therapy-related low platelet counts." The Fast Track process is designed to facilitate the development, and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need. An unmet need is a condition whose treatment or diagnosis is not addressed adequately by available therapy. The purpose of the Fast Track designation is to make important new drugs available to the patient earlier. The Fast Track program also enables a company to submit sections of the NDA on a rolling basis as data becomes available. This enables the FDA to review sections of the NDA as they are received, rather than waiting until every section of the application is completed before the entire application can be reviewed. NDA review usually does not begin until the company has submitted the entire application to the FDA. A drug program with Fast Track designation enables the company to have early and frequent communication with the FDA in the development and review of the product candidate, often leading to faster drug approval and access by patients.