Cell Therapeutics stock sale raises $30M and eyebrows

With an FDA advisory meeting for pixantrone looming, Cell Therapeutics (CTI) has waded into the market to raise $30 million from a stock sale. That sent the value of its shares down 12 percent and has at least one prominent biotech watcher scratching his head.

"If Cell Therapeutics CEO Jim Bianco was confident about a positive recommendation for approval of pixantrone from the experts at the Feb. 10 meeting of the FDA's advisory committee, why would he raise money now?" wonders TheStreet's Adam Feuerstein. "Presumably, Bianco could raise even more money and with less dilution at a higher stock price following a positive pixantrone meeting." Or could it be, he adds, that Bianco isn't expecting a positive response?

The FDA's ODAC committee will meet on February 10 to examine the case for pixantrone, an experimental therapy or relapsed/refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The drug is on the FDA's fast track. We'll see then how well Bianco's $30 million bet plays out.

- check out Cell Therapeutics' release
- read the story from TheStreet

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