Cell Therapeutics will get $15 million in the near term after partnering with Spectrum Pharmaceuticals of California to sell its only commercial drug, Zevalin.

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Cell Therapeutics has partnered with a California pharmaceutical company to sell its only commercial drug, Zevalin.

The Seattle-based biotech and Spectrum Pharmaceuticals of Irvine will split the costs and the profits, the companies said Wednesday. Spectrum will pay Cell Therapeutics $15 million in the near term, and up to $15 million in milestone payments upon hitting certain sales targets.

Zevalin, a radio-immunotherapy to treat cancer, has many fans in the scientific community, but so far has been little used by doctors. Cell Therapeutics bought it last December with the intention to expand its sales, which currently stand at about $15 million per year, and the company is seeking approval from federal regulators for new ways to use the therapy.

Cell Therapeutics expects that Spectrum’s sales force will give Zevalin sales a boost.

The company has been dogged in recent months by a low share price and a declining cash position.

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com