Why Shares of Galena Biopharma, Inc. Spiked Today

By George BudwellFool.com

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares ofGalena Biopharmaclimbed by over 12% on exceptional volume today after the company announced the publication of two abstracts for the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, meeting being held May 29 through June 2..

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The main impetus behind today's move, though, appears to be the release of some intriguing early efficacy data for the folate protein binding vaccine, GALE-301, in terms of its ability to preventovarian and endometrial cancer recurrence in the adjuvant setting. Specifically, the company stated that patients receiving the 1000 mcg dose exhibited a 78% reduction in the relative risk of recurrence. The vaccine was also well tolerated across all doses, according to the press release.

So what: Galena is unquestionably a struggling biopharma that desperately needs good news on the clinical front. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning letter to Galena for not reporting 19 adverse events arising from patients taking its sublingual tablet Abstral for breakthrough cancer pain. And the company is only now emerging from its alleged stock promotion scandal last year that led to the ousting of CEO Mark Ahn.

Now what: We should learn a great deal more about GALE-301's early stage trial at the ASCO meeting. And the stock will probably continue to react strongly to this news throughout next week.

Given that Galena has a short cash runway that only extends until the end of the year, however, you might want to shy away from trying to ride any emotionally fueled bump in share price. After all, the company will probably need to execute another secondary offering soon to fund both the future development of GALE-301, as well as its more advanced experimental breast cancer vaccine NeuVax.

The article Why Shares of Galena Biopharma, Inc. Spiked Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

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