UPDATE 1-Cell Therapeutics says FDA OKs manufacturing facility

Mon Mar 8, 2010 7:34am EST

* FDA approves NerPharMa to manufacture drug pixantrone

* FDA's final decision on drug expected by April 23

March 8 (Reuters) - Cell Therapeutics Inc (CTIC.O) said U.S. health regulators approved the facility to manufacture its experimental cancer drug currently under review, sending its shares up 14 percent before the bell.

The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its inspection of the facility at NerPharMa, which belongs to Italy-based Nerviano Medical Sciences, and has found the site in compliance and acceptable for continued manufacturing of the drug pixantrone.

The drug is under review as a treatment for relapsed/refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and the FDA is expected to make a final decision on approval by April 23.

Shares of Cell Therapeutics closed at 90 cents Friday on Nasdaq. They were at $1.02 Monday before the bell. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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