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 Northwest Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:NWBO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing immunotherapy agents to treat cancer, advanced as much as 16% after announcing an agreement for a large-scale expansion of its manufacturing, storage, handling, and distribution of its DCVax-L and DCVax-Direct products.

So what: According to Northwest Biotherapeutics' press release, the company entered into a contractual agreement with Cognate Bioservices for manufacturing services. These agreements, "provide for a comprehensive scale-up program for expansion of the Company's clinical programs in both the US and Europe, and for any compassionate use programs or other early access or expanded access programs which the Company might undertake." In other words, Northwest Biotherapeutics is gearing its production up for eventual commercialization and increased clinical testing.

Now what: Obviously, investors are quite pleased with the fact that NW Bio is boosting its manufacturing capacity, which can only be viewed as a sign that it feels confident about its cancer immunotherapy product line. It's hard to deny that immunotherapy agents aren't all the rage lately, but few have been able to demonstrate consistent clinical promise. While a step in the right direction for NW Bio, it's also a very minor step. I'll need to see clear indications of DCVax-L's success in mid and/or late-stage trials before I would even consider NW Bio a viable investment opportunity. As of now, we could be looking at a company counting its chickens well before they're hatched.

Northwest Biotherapeutics may be rallying today, but it could have a hard time keeping up with this top stock in 2014
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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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