Cell Therapeutics said Wednesday its staff will shrink as the Seattle biotechnology company gears up to market a recently acquired product...

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Cell Therapeutics said Wednesday its staff will shrink as the Seattle biotechnology company gears up to market a recently acquired product.

The company will add 13 jobs in sales and marketing for its new Zevalin cancer therapy, while the total U.S. work force is reduced to 133 from 151, said spokesman Dan Eramian. That means 31 other positions will be eliminated.

“We believe the best way to maximize shareholder value now is to focus our resources on our marketed and late-stage products,” said President and CEO James Bianco in a prepared statement. “It is with great disappointment that we must reduce headcount elsewhere in order to meet these goals.”

The company expects to reduce its net operating expenses by 35 percent and projects net cash operating expenses of $77 million in 2008.

Much of the savings comes from deciding to “defer or curtail” some final clinical trials for two other drug candidates, Xyotax and pixantrone. But the company still plans to seek European approval for Xyotax in March and evaluate pivotal trial data for pixantrone, it said in the statement.