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. 

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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