Shares in Galena Biopharma (GALE) climbed to a 52-week high on Wednesday, adding over 15 percent in early trading before settling into gains just under 12 percent. The company continues to rise after presenting positive results from Phase 1 trials of its Folate Binding Protein (FBP) vaccine at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (STIC) Conference in National Harbor, MD from November 7-10. Shares have risen over 30 percent since the start of the conference.
Strong Phase I Results
The Phase I trial conducted by Galena looking into its FBP vaccine was primarily to determine safety and optimal dose for ovarian and endometrial cancer patients, and the vaccine demonstrated itself to be both safe and immunogenic. A six-month follow up showed only 2 recurrences in the vaccinated group (13.3 percent) as opposed to 4 recurrences in the control group (25 percent).
"New approaches are needed for ovarian and endometrial cancer patients who face a high risk of disease recurrence. The initial results from the Phase 1 trial show that the FBP vaccine may be a potential cancer immunotherapy treatment to prevent recurrence in these high risk patient populations," concluded presenter Dr. Erika J. Schneble of San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Galena’s executives were also happy with the results.
"We are encouraged by the initial results of our Phase 1 trial with the FBP vaccine, showing that it is well-tolerated and demonstrated promising immune responses in high risk gynecological cancers," said President and CEO Mark J. Ahn. "As a result, we are moving forward with the Phase 2a component which will be initiated by year end and will include the enrollment of additional patients at the optimal dose as well implementing a booster regimen."
Galena also had the official launch of Abstral in the United States last month, which received FDA approval in 2011 to treat spikes in “background pain” among cancer patients. While the company still hasn’t produced any revenue, the success of Abstral and the FBP vaccine appear to have investors showing some excitement.
Technicals Are Promising
Prior to this week, Galena appeared to be in a bearish rising wedge pattern. However, the stock has traded above its 20-, 50-, and 200-day moving averages since early in November. What’s more, gains yesterday, when the stock climbed 9.39 percent, broke through resistance. Today’s spike could indicate confidence on the part of technical traders that the gains made after the presentation at STIC could be here to stay.
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