Why Galena Biopharma Shares Soared

Galena goes shopping and investors applaud its purchase. Do shares still have room to run higher or are they now overvalued?

Jan 13, 2014 at 3:45PM

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 (NASDAQ:GALE)advanced as much as 20% after the company focused on developing cancer therapies announced the acquisition of Mills Pharmaceuticals and received a price target upgrade from Roth Capital.

So what: According a Galena press release that did not mention any financial terms, the acquisition of Mills Pharmaceuticals gives Galena worldwide rights to GALE-401, a patented, controlled release formulation of anagrelide. Galena expects to pursue an expedited regulatory pathway for FDA approval of GALE-401 as a treatment for essential thrombocythemia, a rare bone marrow disease. Galena estimates the experimental therapy has peak market potential of $200 million. On the heels of this news, Roth Capital boosted its price target on Galena to $11 from $7.

Now what: If Galena can get GALE-401 on an expedited review path this will likely be a smart purchase, although we can never tell for certain without financial terms of the deal being disclosed. Ultimately, Galena shares are roaring higher at just the right time -- cancer immunotherapy treatments are a hot issue among investors at the moment, and the mecca of all health-care events, the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference, is going on this week. I would, however, still recommend exercising caution here with Galena, as many of its major catalysts, specifically as they relate to NeuVax, are still years away.

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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.

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