Why Galena Biopharma Jumped 10% Today

What: After independent monitors determined that cardiac monitoring of breast cancer patients taking NeuVax could be reduced, shares in Galena Biopharma jumped by more than 10% earlier today.

So what: Galena is evaluating NeuVax as an immunotherapy to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer in amenable patients. The phase 3 studies include patients with low to moderate HER2 expression that have achieved remission using current standards of care, yet lack a HER2 targeting adjuvant treatment option.

Overall, Herceptin is commonly used as an adjuvant therapy option for patients with high over expression of HER2, which makes up roughly 25% of all breast cancer patients. However, Herceptin carries a black box warning regarding cardiac risks.

Since NeuVax targets the 50% to 60% of breast cancer patients with low to moderate expressing HER2 and independent monitors seem to have fewer concerns regarding NeuVax' safety profile, investors appear encouraged that NeuVax could provide an important new treatment option.

Now what: The news is positive, but investors may want to take it with a grain of salt. The company's phase 3 trial is ongoing, but results still aren't expected until 2018, at the earliest.

Because Galena Bipharma's NeuVax is targeting a large and important market, there could be an opportunity for investors; however, given how long it may be before we know if NeuVax is successful, I'm in no rush to chase shares higher.

The article Why Galena Biopharma Jumped 10% Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Todd Campbell has no position in any stocks mentioned. Todd owns E.B. Capital Markets, LLC. E.B. Capital's clients may have positions in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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