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Baxter and Cell Therapeutics Announce Strategic Partnership

Nov. 18, 2013

Baxter International and Cell Therapeutics (CT) on Friday joined together in a strategic partnership to develop and market pacritinib, CT’s investigational JAK2/FLT3 inhibitor for genetic mutations connected to myelofibrosis, leukemia and other types of solid tumors.

Pacritinib is currently in a Phase III trial of patients with myelofibrosis. Results from previous trials showed significant clinical benefits as well as good tolerability in patients, the pharma partners say.

Under the partnership, Baxter will gain all marketing rights to pacritinib outside the U.S., whereas both companies will market the drug jointly. Baxter also agrees to provide CT with an upfront payment of $60 million and promises milestone payments of up to $112 million.

Aside from advancing the pharma giant’s interest in pacritinib, the collaboration will also complement Baxter’s existing oncology business, said Ludwig Hantson, Baxter’s president.

Pacritinib is just one of CT’s pipeline cancer therapies. The Seattle, Wash.-based company is also developing Tosedostat (formerly CHR-2797), an orally administered, once-daily dosed aminopeptidase inhibitor to treat acute myeloid leukemia; and Opaxio (paclitaxel poliglumex, CT-2103; formerly known as Xyotax) to treat non-small cell lung and ovarian cancers. — Lena Freund

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