Rethinking Cell Therapeutics… As An Acquirer? (CTICD)

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Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTICD) has long been a controversial stock.  It has brought many rewards for investors and it has also brought much pain to investors.  We recently featured its positive development in pixantrone with an appeal at the FDA that will allow it to resubmit a new drug application.  Keep in mind that the company recently went through a reverse stock split.

Today brings news that Cell Therapeutics, being “consistent with its previously announced pipeline strategy,” has identified a potential acquisition opportunity.  Most companies do not telegraph what they are trying to buy and how great the benefits are because they might actually drive the price up.  Who wants to bid against themselves?

Cell Therapeutics has said its acquisition opportunity is a phase II drug candidate under study in cancer immunotherapy as protein therapeutics activating macrophages and dendritic cells “to present foreign antigens to T-killer cells and T-memory cells thus activating a tumor specific immune attack with potential lifelong immunity against the cancer.”

The company noted that this is tumor-specific and is an individualized approach for harnessing a patient’s immune system to fight and potentially eradicate cancer.  For the company to try to announce that it looks forward to further discussion and to conducting due diligence, this seems like another capital raise is coming.

Another reminder was made about the company having two of its drug candidates in American Society of Clinical Oncology presentations in a week.  One is interim data from a study with OPAXIO™ in patients with newly diagnosed high-grade gliomas, and another is interim study results of tosedostat in elderly patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia. 

Most shares tank after their reverse stock splits.  These shares went ex-split on a 1-for-6 split just on May 16, 2011 and the stock went from an adjusted $1.62 to $1.59 on that day.  Shares are up over 1% so far this morning at $2.12, and the highs in the last week were $2.40 intra-day and $2.26 for a closing price.