Abstral Growth and a Warrant Valuation Benefit Shrink Galena's Q1 Loss by 73%

Highly volatile and controversial small-cap biopharmaceutical Galena Biopharma (NASDAQ: GALE  ) gave optimists a reason to cheer after the closing bell this evening by delivering top- and bottom-line improvements with the release of its first-quarter results.

For the quarter, Galena reported revenue of $2.2 million that was entirely from the sale of its breakthrough cancer pain medication Abstral. Galena recorded no revenue in the year-ago quarter, and Abstral's $2.2 million in sales represents a nearly 70% sequential improvement over the fourth quarter.

On the clinical front Galena announced that enrollment in its critical phase 3 PRESENT trial for cancer immunotherapy vaccine NeuVax is still ongoing, but on track to be completed by the end of this year.

Operating expenses for the quarter soared as the company moves select clinical programs into late-stage development and as it beefs up its marketing and sales staff in lieu of Abstral's commercialization. Research and development expenses jumped 33% from the prior-year period to $6.8 million while selling, general and administrative expenses soared 346% to a matching $6.8 million.

Net loss for the quarter dipped significantly as the company benefited from a $9.8 million change in warrant value compared to a loss of $5 million in the year-ago quarter. The end result was a net loss of $2.5 million, or $0.02 per share, from $9.3 million, or $0.11 per share, a 73% reduction.

Looking ahead, Galena Biopharma stuck by its full-year revenue forecast for Abstral of $11 million-$15 million, although it offered no bottom-line guidance. 

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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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