Galena Biopharma, Inc. and Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. Could Be Big Movers in Healthcare Today

Today's morning movers in the biotech sector.

Jan 17, 2014 at 7:46AM

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.

Good morning, fellow Foolish investors! It's time to check in on the early movers in the biotech sector today.

Galena reversing course?
Shares of Galena Biopharma (NASDAQ:GALE) have soared over the past month, gaining 88%. This sudden rise has been fueled mostly by the acquisition of privately held Mills Pharmaceuticals, an upgrade from Roth Capital, and a licensing deal with Dr. Reddy's Laboratories for the company's lead clinical candidate, NeuVax. Not to mention the market's anticipation of the sales numbers for Galena's newly acquired cancer pain medication, Abstral.

Despite all this good news, Galena shares are dropping in premarket this morning, falling over 11%. This precipitous decline appears to be due to an appearance by Galena's CEO, Dr. Mark Ahn, on Jim Cramer's show Mad Money last night.

During the interview, Cramer questioned Dr. Ahn about the history of failures for drugs similar to NeuVax, saying he was skeptical about the drug's chances for approval.

So, what does this mean? My take is that Galena is building out their commercial pipeline nicely with their recent acquisitions, which should help to soften any blow from a possible NeuVax failure next year. That said, a fair amount of the company's $700 million market cap is tied to NeuVax's potential, so there is a fair amount of risk in Galena shares at these prices. But this isn't exactly news. Galena's long-term value has long been coupled to NeuVax, so you shouldn't hit the panic button over this speed bump.

Keryx receives approval for chronic kidney disease drug in Japan
Keryx Biopharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KERX) is moving higher this morning after announcing that its orally administrated drug ferric citrate for chronic kidney disease, or CDK, was approved in Japan. According to late-stage clinical trial data, the drug is effective at lowering dangerously high phosphate levels in patients suffering from CDK. In Japan, the drug will be marketed by Japan Tobacco and Torii Pharmaceutical under the brand name Riona.

Is this a big deal? In my view, the answer is both yes and no. What's key going forward are the potential approvals for the drug in the U.S. and Europe. According to statements made by Keryx's management at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week, the drug could potentially see approvals in both markets by year's end. As a reminder, the drug is set to be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on June 7 this year.

So while a Japanese approval is a nice upside and even, a potential harbinger of things to come, the real prizes are still on the horizon. The good news is that analysts at Roth Capital, among others, are optimistic about the drug's chances in the U.S. and EU, upping their price targets by no less than an eye-popping 100% from current levels, as a result . With such optimism surrounding Keryx, you might want to keep tabs on this compelling biotech story going forward. 

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George Budwell has no position in any stocks 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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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