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Cell Therapeutics rises on Pixuvri launch plans

NEW YORK (AP) — Cell Therapeutics Inc. shares climbed Tuesday after the company said it will start marketing its lymphoma drug Pixuvri in Europe in September.

THE SPARK: The Seattle company said it will launch the drug in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland in September. Pixuvri will be launched in Austria and Norway in early October and Germany, the U.K., and the Netherlands in November. Cell Therapeutics said it plans to make the drug available in France, Italy, Spain, and other European Union countries in 2013.

THE BIG PICTURE: EU regulators awarded conditional approval to Pixuvri in May as a treatment for non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma that has recurred after two previous therapies. That means Cell Therapeutics can market the drug because it meets an urgent medical need, but the company must still conduct additional clinical studies to demonstrate that the drug works.

Cell Therapeutics can market Pixuvri for use in adults. The drug is not approved in the U.S.

SHARE ACTION: Shares of Cell Therapeutics jumped 99 cents, or 38.5 percent, to $3.56 on Tuesday. Shares rose to $6.75 in February after EU regulators recommended conditional approval for Pixuvri, but at the close of trading on Monday, the stock had lost 62 percent of its value since then.

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