Why Galena Biopharma Shares Jumped

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 of Galena Biopharma , a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing cancer therapies, advanced as much as 13% following the announcement of its first official product launch -- Abstral, for the management of breakthrough pain in patients with cancer.

So what: As a refresher, Galena acquired Abstral sublingual tablets from Orexo in March for sale within the United States. Abstral is approved as a breakthrough cancer pain treatment in patients in the U.S. and in Europe; it is most often prescribed as a therapy measure in cases of advanced breast cancer and for patients who have solid tumors. Peak sales estimates in the U.S. vary wildly but are generally around $50 million, compared to the $54 million in sales that Abstral delivered in Europe last year.

Now what: The commercial launch of Abstral in the U.S. today is certainly good news by adding revenue to reduce Galena's cash burn rate. But all eyes are really on the company's cancer vaccine NeuVax, which is currently in late-stage trials for HER2-targeted breast cancer. Abstral alone likely doesn't offer Galena enough to make it to profitability, so the company will likely need positive results from NeuVax if it hopes to continue heading higher. One catch: We're about three years from getting those phase 3 results. I would personally prefer to wait on the sidelines until we have those concrete results rather than chase this stock higher or lower on news like we're witnessing today.

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The article Why Galena Biopharma Shares Jumped originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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