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Friday, November 23, 2007

CTI Kicks Off a New Cargo Cult Season

Viewpoint #1

SEATTLE, Nov 21, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Systems Medicine, LLC (SM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) , announced that cumulative preliminary results of a phase I trial combining cisplatin with brostallicin in patients with solid tumors that had relapsed or were resistant to front-line treatment were presented at the Highlights in Oncology meeting in Naples, Italy, on Tuesday, November 20, 2007. Cristina Geroni, Ph.D. of Nerviano Medical Sciences (NMS), which developed brostallicin, summarized the basis for the phase I trial design. The trial is based on data demonstrating tumors with high levels of GSH/GST, common in platinum-resistant disease, are more susceptible to the killing effects of brostallicin. High levels of GSH and GST are associated with resistance to most standard chemotherapy drugs
"Our phase I and II experience with brostallicin in over 160 patients demonstrates encouraging anti-tumor activity in a variety of solid tumors, with more than 50% of the patients experiencing at least disease stabilization," said Steven Weitman, M.D., of Systems Medicine.
The preliminary results from the first 21 patients treated in the phase I combination trial with cisplatin showed similar results, with 14 of the patients experiencing stable disease and half (50%) of those 14 patients having durable stable disease for more than six cycles of therapy. Toxicities were mainly hematological and were manageable and reversible in this heavily pretreated patient population

Viewpoint #2

Cell Therapeutics stock falls on treatment study results

Seattle's Cell Therapeutics Inc. reported the results of an early-stage study of a cancer treatment, which combines two drugs, brostallicin and cisplatin, Wednesday. Of the 21 patients with tumors treated in the study, 14 did not show any changes -- positive or negative -- in the progression of their cancer. Cell Therapeutics said side effects were manageable and the company expected to advance its studies. The company's stock fell about 17 cents, or about 6 percent, to close at $2.38 on the Nasdaq stock market.

I believe it was John Allen Paulos who pointed out the medical science can be easily corrupted by psuedoscience. Sick people can either get better, stay the same or get worse. The first 2 situations can be attributed to your drug. Once you apply statistics you have protected yourself with "science". Two thirds of the patients in the Cell Therapeutics study stayed the same. They did not get better. Is this positive news?

More on CTI

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Year Gone By

I'll let the Seattle Times lay it all out for you. They are so much nicer than me.

I've been silent for so long waiting for one big write-up and here the Seattle Times has done it for me. But I will make a few comments regarding the future of Seattle Biotech. The Accelerator companies will soon be facing tougher customers now that they have obtained multi-million dollar payoffs. Of course their investors assume they are just taking off. Cargo Culters know that the main goal is to get paid. The secondary goal is to get out before the S hits the fan. 2008 will be a critical time for VLST and Spaltudaq. Homestead may have already disappeared without any official notice. No thoughts on the others.

So I raise a glass and toast the Cargo Cult Airport otherwise known as Seattle Biotechnology. Many a flight was cancelled or delayed this year. But we'll keep looking up. The Cargo Cult Scientist is always on the lookout.

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RNAi has finally been mentioned in a Nastech press release. They are spinning of the RNAi research into a subsidiary company called MDRNA. And the stock went up on this news!

While Nastech themselves had 5 years to create an RNAi drug, they are now claiming that the new company, MDRNA, will be seeking funding in the near future. Nastech screwed up the rest of their company so badly that they must now cut out RNAi research in order to survive. In the process they intend to send out their business people to ask for more money.

We here at the CCS would like to meet the people who intend to invest in MDRNA. We got a nice bridge we'd like to sell them.