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Two Analysts Hike Price Target Of Galena Biopharma, Inc. (GALE) Stock Following Acquisition, Advancement

|Includes: SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. (SLS)

The hard work Galena Biopharma is investing in the development and expansion of its clinical pipeline of oncology treatments earlier this week warranted a couple analyst upgrades.

Maxim Group Tuesday upped its price target on Galena to $11 from $9 and reiterated its Buy rating on the company's stock. The firm cites Galena's recent acquisition of worldwide rights to Mills Pharmaceuticals and Anagrelide CR.

"We are raising our price target to $11, from $9, to reflect the value of the new acquisition. GALE recently announced the acquisition of Mills Pharmaceuticals (Mills), with the worldwide rights to Anagrelide CR (Anagrelide controlled release) targeting essential thrombocythemia (NYSE:ET). Anagrelide immediate release is sold under the brand name Agrylin and is out of patent protection in the U.S. GALE paid an undisclosed upfront payment and is obligated to pay Mills shareholders up to 4M GALE shares as milestones and $3M on FDA approval."

Maxim valued Anagrelide at $2 a share, ranking it the middleweight of Galena's portfolio.

"We estimate that the drug may be able to launch in the U.S. in 2018. With a 30% penetration as a first-line treatment for ET, the drug may reach peak sales of $180M in the U.S., suggesting $2/share under a 15% annual discount. Our valuation of NeuVax remains at $8/share. We believe potential revenues from India are immaterial at this stage. In addition, we value Abstral, GALE's transmucosal immediate release fentanyl for cancer breakthrough pain that launched in the U.S. in 3Q13, at $1/share. We expect continued marketing efforts and the RELIEF trial to drive sales of Abstral to break even by the end of 2014. GALE had $54M in cash ($0.55/share) at the end of 3Q13, likely sufficient to support its operations through the end of 2014 (we estimate its operating loss to be $9M-$10M/quarter)."

Analysts at Needham reaffirmed a Buy rating on Galena, and raised its price target on the stock to $9 from $3.50. Needham explains the $5.50 boost:

"Galena has been off to a galloping start in 2014. Since the beginning of the year the company had initiated a Phase II program for its ovarian cancer vaccine GALE-301, signed an agreement with Dr. Reddy's to fund development of lead drug NeuVax in gastric cancer, and acquired a Phase II ready specialty pharma product for essential thrombocytopenia (ET.) All of this progress comes on the heels of a successful 4Q:13 launch of Galen'a first commercial product, Abstral. We believe Galena is rapidly transforming itself into a multi-product oncology-focused company."

The firm also highlighted the progression of GALE-301 to a phase 2 clinical trial, Galena's acquisition of Anagrelide CR, and the company's deal with Dr. Reddy's to fund development of lead drug NeuVax in gastric cancer

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