About Us


Since its establishment, CTI has shown its commitment to patients by acquiring, developing and bringing to market drugs that leverage the company’s expertise in blood-related cancers. CTI always has been and always will be focused on developing new, more effective targeted cancer therapies with improved side-effect profiles that address unmet medical needs. This commitment is reflected in the events that have shaped CTI since its inception. Select a date below to see the history of CTI unfold and remember to visit this section often because we have only just begun.













Pre 2003

May 2014

Cell Therapeutics Inc. changes its name to CTI BioPharma to better reflect our vision and expertise. Read More

March 2014

CTI opens enrollment for PERSIST-2 Phase 3 trial of pacritinib for patients with myelofibrosis who have low platelet counts. Read More

February 2014

NICE issues final guidance recommending the prescription of PIXUVRI in England and Wales. CTI has reached positive reimbursement decisions in England/Wales, France, Germany and Italy. PIXUVRI is currently available in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK. Read More

January 2014

CTI reaches agreement with Novartis to reacquire rights to two anti-cancer compounds: pixantrone (PIXUVRI®) and paclitaxel poliglumex (Opaxio™). Read More

December 2013

CTI announces results from an integrated safety and efficacy analysis of Phase 2 clinical trials of pacritinib demonstrating the efficacy and safety profile in patients with myelofibrosis whose baseline platelet counts are ≤100,000/μL was comparable to that of patients with baseline platelet counts of >100,000/μL presented at the ASH Annual Meeting. {ORAL PRESENTATION} Read More

November 2013

CTI enters into agreement with Baxter International Inc. to develop and commercialize pacritinib. Read More

October 2013

CTI reaches agreement with the U.S. FDA on a Special Protocol Assessment for the planned pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial, known as the PERSIST-2 trial, evaluating pacritinib compared to best available therapy, including approved JAK2 inhibitors such as ruxolitinib, in patients with myelofibrosis whose platelet counts are <100,000/μL. Read More

January 2013

CTI begins enrollment in Phase 3 PERSIST-1 trial of pacritinib for the treatment of patients with myelofibrosis – the first of two planned Phase 3 trials. Read More

December 2012

PIXUVRI is available to healthcare providers in eight European countries.

June 2012

Lancet Oncology publishes results from pivotal study of PIXUVRI, known as EXTEND or PIX301. Read More

May 2012

European Commission grants conditional marketing authorization in the European Union for PIXUVRI® (pixantrone) as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Read More

May 2012

CTI acquires pacritinib, also known as SB1518, from S*BIO. Pacritinib is an oral JAK2/FLT3 inhibitor, which demonstrated meaningful clinical benefits and good tolerability in patients with myelofibrosis in Phase 2 clinical trials. Read More

March 2011

CTI and Chroma Therapeutics enter into a co-development and license agreement providing CTI with exclusive marketing and co-development rights to Chroma's drug candidate tosedostat in North, Central and South America. 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. Read More

March 2011

CTI initiates post-approval commitment study, known as PIX-R trial or PIX306, to study PIXUVRI in combination with rituximab in patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell NHL. Read More

November 2010

The European Medicines Association validates and accepts for review the MAA for pixantrone for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

December 2009

EMA grants orphan drug designation for PIXUVRI.

September 2009

CTI applies to the EMA for orphan drug designation for PIXUVRI.

July 2009

EMA informs CTI that PIXUVRI is eligible to be submitted for an MAA through the EMA's centralized procedure.

May 2009

Pixantrone becomes available in Europe on a Named Patient basis.

December 2008

CTI and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. establish a joint venture to develop and commercialize Zevalin® (ibritumomab tiuxetan). CTI contributes all Zevalin-related assets to the joint venture and sells a 50% membership interest in the joint venture to Spectrum for $15 million, plus certain milestone payments. In early 2009, CTI exercises its option and sells its interest in the Zevalin joint venture to Spectrum for $18 million.

October 2008

CTI gains access to Phase 3 Zevalin First-line Indolent Trial (FIT) data in June through an agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma AG, who used the data to obtain approval for Zevalin as first-line consolidation treatment in Europe. Based on these data, CTI submits a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) with FDA for use of Zevalin as consolidation therapy after remission induction in previously untreated patients with follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma that results in FDA approval for the expanded label in September 2009. If approved, Zevalin would be the only radioimmunotherapy in the U.S. with approval for use as first-line consolidation therapy.

March 2008

CTI announces the completion of enrollment in Phase 3 trial, known as EXTEND or PIX301, of pixantrone for patients with aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

December 2007

CTI acquires Zevalin for an initial payment of $10 million to Biogen Idec, obtaining responsibility for development, marketing and sales of the drug in the United States.

August 2007

CTI acquires Systems Medicine Inc. a privately held oncology company, in a stock-for-stock merger valued at $20 million, gaining worldwide rights to brostallicin, a DNA minor groove binding agent with proven anti-tumor activity.

January 2007

CTI launches "My Life My Cancer My Treatment" ad campaign, with the tagline, "We believe in treatments as individual as you are."

September 2006

CTI enters into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Novartis International Pharmaceutical Ltd. for the development and commercialization of OPAXIO and an option to develop and commercialize pixantrone.

July 2005

CTI divests TRISENOX to Cephalon for an aggregate of approximately $68 million.

June 2004

CTI completes merger with Novuspharma and acquires drug, pixantrone. CTI's common stock begins trading on the Nuovo Mercato in Italy under ticker “CTIC” and Dr. Bianco continues in the role of President and CEO of the merged entity.

March 2004

CTI initiates pivotal Phase 3 trial of pixantrone for the treatment of patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

June 2003

CTI announces plans to merge with Novuspharma S.p.A. in a $236 million all stock deal. Novuspharma was founded as a spin-off from Boehringer Mannheim/Roche. The biotechnology company was located in Bresso, Italy, and focused on oncology. In October, a special meeting of shareholders of CTI is held to approve the stock-for-stock merger.

September 2000

TRISENOX is approved for treating patients whose disease has recurred or who failed to respond to standard therapy for a rare type of leukemia called acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) - less than six months after the regulatory submission and within three years of entering clinical trials.

January 2000

Acquires PolaRx and its drug TRISENOX® (arsenic trioxide) injection.

June 1998

CTI enters into agreement with PG-TXL Company, L.P. for rights to PG-TXL, now known as OPAXIO™ (paclitaxel poliglumex), and to all potential uses of PG-TXL’s polymer technology.

March 1997

Cell Therapeutics completes its initial public offering. Company changes its name to Cell Therapeutics Inc.


CTI’s proprietary lead compound in development is lisofylline, a stero-selective xanthine derivative which inhibits production of two key pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-a and IL-1, both of which are associated with the development of regimen related side effects and toxicities. Lysofylline is in Phase 2/3 clinical trials for reduction of regimen related toxicities after bone marrow transplant.

February 1992

CTI operations officially begin.

Fall 1991

CTI was founded by two oncologists, Drs. James Bianco and Jack Singer, and a financial executive, Louis Bianco. While treating patients in the clinic, Drs. Bianco and Singer had some very encouraging results from the combination of two already approved drugs. In an effort to determine why these drugs appeared to work for these patients, the entrepreneurs founded the company initially called Combined Therapeutics.


Jim Bianco, M.D. with E Donnall Thomas, M.D. – 1990 Nobel Laureate for Medicine who pioneered bone marrow transplantation.

You Are Leaving CTI BioPharma

You have selected a link to a third-party website. This link is provided solely as a convenience to you and not as an endorsement by CTI BioPharma of such third-party website. CTI BioPharma is not responsible for and does not make any representations regarding the accuracy of materials on such third-party site.

Continue to the Requested Site
Return to CTI BioPharma

Hello! We are pleased to announce that Cell Therapeutics has changed its name to

Enter Site