Galena Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:GALE), a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of targeted oncology therapeutics that address major unmet medical needs, announced that data from the booster phase of the Company’s GALE-301/GALE-302 Phase 1/2a clinical trial was presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting.
The poster, entitled, “Comparing an attenuated booster (E39’) vs. E39 booster to potentiate the clinical benefit of the folate binding protein (FBP)-derived vaccine (E39 + GM-CSF) in a phase I/IIa trial to prevent recurrence in endometrial (EC) and ovarian cancer (OC) patients,” was presented today by Dr. Doreen Jackson from the San Antonio Military Medical Center. In the Phase 2a portion of the trial, patients were randomized to two different boosters: E39 (GALE-301), versus E39’ (GALE-302). The purpose of the study was to evaluate the immune responses and determine which booster, if either, would provide a sustained immune response and potentially longer disease free survival (DFS) rates.
The use of the wildtype peptide (GALE-301/E39) demonstrated the same tolerable safety profile as the attenuated peptide (GALE-302/E39’) with only Grade 1 local reactions and minimal Grade 2 toxicities. Importantly, the percentage of patients who received two booster inoculations and remained disease free was significantly better in the drug treatment arm, versus the control arm (p=0.02), regardless of which booster was used. At median follow up of 16 months, the boosters demonstrated equivalent efficacy after two booster inoculations with an estimated, two-year DFS rate of 66.7% (GALE-301 n=7, GALE-302 n=7) in each booster arm versus 36% (n=22) in the control arm.
“In our GALE-301 Phase 2a trial, we randomized patients to determine an optimal boosting strategy and to see if there was an observable difference between boosting patients with GALE-301 versus the attenuated version of the peptide, GALE-302,” stated Bijan Nejadnik, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “The results show that both boosters were effective with no measurable difference between them, and we will consider this as we continue to evaluate the best path forward for our compounds targeting FBP. The primary analysis of this trial will be presented at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June.”
A total of 51 patients were enrolled in the Phase 1/2a trial with 29 HLA-A2-positive patients in the vaccine group (VG) and 22 HLA-A2-negative patients in the control group (CG). Six monthly intradermal inoculations of GALE-301 plus 250mcg GM-CSF were administered to the VG to complete the primary vaccine series (PVS). Patients were then randomized to receive two booster inoculations of 500mcg of GALE-301 or GALE-302 plus 250mcg GM-CSF at six and twelve months post-PVS. Seventeen patients continued onto the booster series and were randomized with 14 receiving two boosters. There were no significant demographic or baseline differences between groups, no difference in toxicities were observed, and there were no Grade 3 or 4 toxicities in either group. (Original Source)
Shares of Galena are currently trading at $1.53, up $0.03 or 2.01%. GALE has a 1-year high of $2.39 and a 1-year low of $0.59. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.18 and its 200-day moving average is $1.27.
On the ratings front, Galena has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on March 28, FBR analyst Vernon Bernardino reiterated a Buy rating on GALE, with a price target of $5, which implies an upside of 233.3% from current levels. Separately, on March 14, Roth Capital’s Joseph Pantginis reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $5.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Vernon Bernardino and Joseph Pantginis have a total average return of -15.9% and 2.0% respectively. Bernardino has a success rate of 31.4% and is ranked #3772 out of 3807 analysts, while Pantginis has a success rate of 38.4% and is ranked #913.
Overall, 4 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $5.00 which is 233.3% above where the stock closed yesterday.
Galena Biopharma, Inc. engages as a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of targeted oncology therapeutics that address major unmet medical needs. It focuses on identifying and advancing therapeutic opportunities to improve cancer care from direct treatment of the disease to the reduction of its debilitating side effects. Its products include Abstral (fentanyl) sublingual tablets and Zuplenz (ondansetron) oral soluble film. The company was founded by Craig Mello on April 3, 2006 and is headquartered in San Ramon, CA.