Galena Biopharma

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Galena Biopharma, Inc.
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 2006
Headquarters Portland, Oregon, United States
Key people
Mark Schwartz, CEO
Products NeuVax
Revenue $7.4 million (2014)
-$11.5 million (2011)
Number of employees
60 (March 2014)

Galena Biopharma (NASDAQ: GALE) is publicly traded pharmaceutical company based in Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. The 60-employee company was originally started as Argonaut Pharmaceuticals and later became RXi Pharmaceuticals, both based in Worcester, Massachusetts, and is led by president and CEO Mark Schwartz.[1][2][3] Galena Biopharma focuses on cancer therapy and had an annual loss of $11.5 million with no revenue in 2011.[4]


The started as Argonaut Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in April 2006, and soon changed their name to RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation in November of that year.[2] RXi was originally a subsidiary of CytRx Corp., and was founded in part by Craig Mello.[5] CytRx provided financing of $15 million to RXi in April 2007.[5][6] In September 2007, RXi signed a licensing deal with TriLink Biotechnologies, a competitor in the RNA interference (RNAi) field, in which RXi would pay TriLink to use three of TriLink's technologies.[6]

RXi went public in March 2008 in an unusual maneuver in which parent company CytRx gave shares of RXi to its existing shareholders.[7][8] CytRx retained ownership of 49% of RXi's stock, which started trading on the NASDAQ market on March 12, 2008, under the ticker symbol of RXII.[7][8] Fidelity Investments invested $8.5 million in the company in May 2008,[9] followed by a $25 million private-equity investment by Yorkville in February 2009.[10] In 2010, RXi was awarded a National Institutes of Health grant of $600,000.[11]

By August 2010, the company had grown to 30 employees.[11] In March 2011, the company announced the planned acquisition of Arizona-based Apthera, Inc. for $7 million.[1] The acquisition included a breast cancer drug called NeuVax.[12] That same month, president and CEO Noah Beerman was replaced by Mark J. Ahn.[1] In April 2011, RXi raised approximately $12 million from a stock offering[13] and received $580,000 in grants from the National Institutes of Health.[14] Also in 2011, NeuVax was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to start astage three clinical trial.[15]

In September 2011, the company restructured and renamed itself as Galena Biopharma.[16][1] As part of the restructuring, a new company was created that retained the RNAi technologies, which itself retained the old RXi Pharmaceuticals name, and which remained headquartered in Massachusetts.[16][1] Meanwhile the cancer therapies portion of the company went with Galena Biopharma, with that portion of the business remaining a publicly traded.[1] Galena Biopharma then moved to Oregon at that same time, but retained an ownership stake in the other part of the company.[1][17] Part of the decision to move to the Portland metropolitan area was to be close to the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University.[1]

In October 2011, the company had to restate their financial results.[18] The company entered into a joint drug project with Genentech in November 2011 to combine drugs of each company for a cancer treatment.[19][20] In November 2012, an anonymous internet report caused the stock to briefly tumble and for the company to file a lawsuit claiming the report was a lie and an attempt to manipulate the stock.[21] The company started selling its first drug in 2013 with the introduction of Abstral Sublingual, a cancer pain drug.[22] In 2014, Galena bought Mills Pharmaceuticals.[23] The company moved its headquarters to neighboring Portland in April 2014.[24] CEO Mark J. Ahn resigned in August 2014 and was replaced by Mark Schwartz.[3][25]

Stock promotion[edit]

In 2014 Galena was involved in a stock promotion scheme, paying DreamTeamGroup US$50,000 to write at least five promotional articles that appeared on Seeking Alpha. The articles carried no conflict of interest disclosure and were written by several pseudonyms. The stock price increased, and insiders sold stock. Galena disclosed the relationship with DreamTeamGroup to the SEC.[26][27][28]

In response, Galena issued an open letter to shareholders, alleging the research by Adam Feuerstein at was one-sided.[29][30] Five lawsuits has been filed against Galena.[31]


Galena Biopharma's main product is NeuVax, a breast cancer therapy drug in clinical trials.[19] The drug may also serve as a vaccine to prevent breast cancer.[1] The company is working with Genentech, which is a subsidiary of Roche, to try the drug in combination with Roche's Herceptin.[20]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Siemers, Erik; Michelle Lang (September 30, 2011). "Galena Biopharma exits Boston for Lake Oswego". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "10-K Annual Report". SEC Filings. Galena Biopharma. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Hayes, Elizabeth (August 21, 2014). "Galena's new CEO plans to stay the course". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Giegerich, Andy (March 29, 2012). "Galena Biopharma trimmed losses in 2011". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "RXi Pharma to receive $15M from CytRx". Boston Business Journal. April 20, 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "RXi licenses additional RNAi technology". Boston Business Journal. September 11, 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  7. ^ a b Hollmer, Mark (February 25, 2008). "Regulators approve novel stock offering for RXi". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "RXi Pharmaceuticals begins public trading". Boston Business Journal. March 12, 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  9. ^ Noyes, Jesse (December 15, 2008). "RXi hunkers down for potential deal as cash dries". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "RXi scores $25M private equity deal". Boston Business Journal. February 6, 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Donnelly, Julie M. (August 9, 2010). "Startup RXi eyes growth by narrowing its focus". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Donnelly, Julie M. (March 31, 2011). "RXi acquires Apthera, names new CEO". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  13. ^ Lang, Michelle (April 15, 2011). "RXi makes $12M securities offering". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Lang, Michelle (April 26, 2011). "RXi nabs RNAi grants". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Donnelly, Julie M. (June 6, 2011). "RXi advances breast cancer vaccine". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  16. ^ a b Lang, Michelle (September 26, 2011). "RXi to split into two public companies". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Giegerich, Andy (November 14, 2011). "Galena posts year-over-year losses". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Kish, Matthew (October 28, 2011). "Galena restates earnings, loss grows". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Leuty, Ron (November 28, 2011). "Genentech, Galena to combine breast cancer therapies in mid-stage trial". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Marcial, Gene (March 15, 2012). "Roche Accelerates Defense Strategy to Protect Breast-Cancer Drug Herceptin's Turf". Forbes. Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  21. ^ Budnick, Nick (December 2, 2012). "Lake Oswego biotech firm battles Internet critics". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Hayes, Elizabeth (October 3, 2013). "Galena launches drug for cancer pain in the U.S.". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  23. ^ Hayes, Elizabeth (January 13, 2014). "Galena Biopharma acquisition may deliver promising new drug". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  24. ^ "Amendment to Annual Report". Business Entity Filing Records. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  25. ^ Giegerich, Andy (August 21, 2014). "Galena's CEO leaves as questions persist". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  26. ^ "An Insider's Tale of a Stock Promotion Plan: Galena, CytRx - Barron's". Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "CytRx Corporation (CYTR) news: Behind The Scenes With Dream Team, CytRx And Galena - Seeking Alpha". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  28. ^ "At financial news sites, stock promoters make inroads - The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet". CNN. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  29. ^ "Galena Biopharma Issues Letter to Shareholders - Yahoo Finance". Yahoo!. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  30. ^ "Lake Oswego firm Galena Biopharma defends itself over marketing campaign, insider sell-off". Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  31. ^ "California investor takes aim at stock promoting, reports Lake Oswego biotech firm". Retrieved 20 April 2014.