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 drug developer BioSante Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BPAX) charged ahead as much as 25% today on heavier-than-average volume.

So what: OK, I'll admit it. I haven't, and probably won't, read the thrillingly titled study "A Lethally Irradiated Allogeneic GM-CSF-Secreting Tumor Vaccine for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: A Phase II Trial of Safety, Efficacy, and Immune Activation" in this month's Annals of Surgery. But what's key for investors is the bottom line -- BioSante's pancreatic cancer vaccine improved survival rates among 60 patients in a phase 2 study at Johns Hopkins. The drug is part of the company's group of GVAX cancer therapies that came into the fold through the Cell Genesys merger.

Now what: This suggests that both sides of the company's business are moving forward. In its development efforts in the realm of female sexual health, BioSante got word last month that its LibiGel was safe enough to allow its trial to continue. In the current environment, getting the Food and Drug Administration on board with a new drug seems tougher, so investors are wise to keep much of their celebrating until after a drug has actually crossed the finish line. But with some fresh cash in the bank after a December share sale, at least shareholders know that BioSante is moving in the right direction.

Want to keep up to date on BioSante Pharmaceuticals? Add it to your watchlist.

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.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.