Galena Biopharma

Galena Biopharma, Inc.
Formerly called
RXi Pharmaceuticals
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 2006
Headquarters San Ramon, California, United States
Key people
Mark Schwartz, CEO
Products NeuVax
Revenue $7.4 million (2014)
Number of employees
60 (March 2014)

Galena Biopharma (originally RXi Pharmaceuticals) is a publicly traded pharmaceutical company based in San Ramon, California. The company was founded in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2011, it moved to Oregon,[1][2] and in 2015 moved to San Ramon, California.[3] Mark Schwartz is the company's president and chief executive officer.[4][5][6][7]


In November 2006, Argonaut Pharmaceuticals, Inc. changed the name to RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation.[2] RXi was a subsidiary of CytRx Corp., which provided $15 million in financing in April 2007.[8][9] RXi was founded in part by Nobel Prize winner Craig Mello.[8] 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.[9]

RXi went public in March 2008. CytRx retained 49% ownership of RXi's stock and gave shares of RXi to existing shareholders. Trading began on the NASDAQ market on March 12, 2008, under the ticker symbol of RXII.[10][11] Fidelity Investments invested $8.5 million in the company in May 2008,[12] followed by a $25 million private-equity investment by Yorkville in February 2009.[13] In 2010, RXi received a National Institutes of Health grant of $600,000.[14] By August 2010, the company had 30 employees.[14]

In March 2011, president and CEO Noah Beerman was replaced by Mark Ahn. The same month, the company announced the planned acquisition of Arizona-based Apthera, Inc. for $7 million. The acquisition included the breast cancer drug NeuVax.[15] In April 2011, RXi raised about $12 million from a stock offering[16] and received $580,000 in grants from the National Institutes of Health.[17] In June 2011, NeuVax was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to start a stage three clinical trial.[18]

In September 2011, the company separated its cancer therapies division. It was renamed Galena Biopharma Inc and moved to Lake Oswego, Oregon.[1][15][19] RXi became a subsidiary of Galena and retained RNAi technologies.[19] RXi Pharmaceuticals remained in Massachusetts as a publicly traded company.[1]

In October 2011, Galena restated their financial results.[20] In November 2011, the company partnered with Genentech to combine drugs from each company for a cancer treatment.[21][22] The company reported a loss of $11.5 million loss for 2011.[23][24]

In November 2012, an anonymous internet report caused Galena stock to decline. The company filed a lawsuit claiming the report was false and attempted to manipulate the stock.[25]

In 2013 Galena began selling its first drug, an analgesic for cancer pain named Abstral Sublingual.[4][26] In January 2014, Galena bought Mills Pharmaceuticals.[27] In April 2014, the company headquarters moved to Portland.[28] In August 2014, CEO Mark Ahn resigned and was replaced by Mark Schwartz.[6][7]

In 2014, Galena was involved in a stock promotion scheme. Galena paid The DreamTeam Group $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 hundred of thousands of shares.[29] Galena disclosed the relationship with The DreamTeam Group to the SEC.[30][31][32]

By March 2014, five lawsuits were filed against Galena and several of its officers alleging that the company used misleading articles to boost stock prices.[29][30]

Motley Fool, discussing the 23% stock price drop during March 2015, noted there was stock dilution from the offering and also that Abstral's sales were below Galena's estimates from late 2013.[33] Discussing the Motley Fool article, Portland Business Journal also noted the ongoing insider-trading lawsuits as a factor in the stock price.[34] A few days later, Zacks Investment Research said Galena could be a "great candidate" to beat its earnings.[35] In response, Galena's CEO said there were many positive aspects to the company, and that the lawsuits weren't a worry as they should get covered under Directors and officers liability insurance.[36] The company moved to San Ramon, California, in the Bay Area in 2015.[3]


  1. 1 2 3 Siemers, Erik; Michelle Lang (September 30, 2011). "Galena Biopharma exits Boston for Lake Oswego". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  2. 1 2 "10-K Annual Report". SEC Filings. Galena Biopharma. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  3. 1 2 Hayes, Elizabeth (November 11, 2015). "Portland loses a biotech company to the Bay Area". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  4. 1 2 Hayes, Elizabeth (7 January 2015). "Galena CEO upbeat despite poor stock performance". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  5. "Ownership of Securities". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  6. 1 2 Pearson, Richard (21 August 2014). "3 Lessons From The Galena Scandal". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Galena Biopharma CEO Mark Ahn Steps Down, Names Mark Schwartz Replacement". RTT News. 21 August 2014. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  8. 1 2 "RXi Pharma to receive $15M from CytRx". Boston Business Journal. April 20, 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  9. 1 2 "RXi licenses additional RNAi technology". Boston Business Journal. September 11, 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  10. Hollmer, Mark (February 25, 2008). "Regulators approve novel stock offering for RXi". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  11. "RXi Pharmaceuticals begins public trading". Boston Business Journal. March 12, 2008. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  12. Noyes, Jesse (December 15, 2008). "RXi hunkers down for potential deal as cash dries". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  13. "RXi scores $25M private equity deal". Boston Business Journal. February 6, 2009. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  14. 1 2 Donnelly, Julie M. (August 9, 2010). "Startup RXi eyes growth by narrowing its focus". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  15. 1 2 Donnelly, Julie M. (March 31, 2011). "RXi acquires Apthera, names new CEO". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  16. Lang, Michelle (April 15, 2011). "RXi makes $12M securities offering". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  17. Lang, Michelle (April 26, 2011). "RXi nabs RNAi grants". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  18. Donnelly, Julie M. (June 6, 2011). "RXi advances breast cancer vaccine". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  19. 1 2 Lang, Michelle (September 26, 2011). "RXi to split into two public companies". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  20. Kish, Matthew (October 28, 2011). "Galena restates earnings, loss grows". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  21. Leuty, Ron (November 28, 2011). "Genentech, Galena to combine breast cancer therapies in mid-stage trial". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  22. Marcial, Gene (March 15, 2012). "Roche Accelerates Defense Strategy to Protect Breast-Cancer Drug Herceptin's Turf". Forbes. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  23. Giegerich, Andy (March 29, 2012). "Galena Biopharma trimmed losses in 2011". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  24. Giegerich, Andy (November 14, 2011). "Galena posts year-over-year losses". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  25. Budnick, Nick (December 2, 2012). "Lake Oswego biotech firm battles Internet critics". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  26. Hayes, Elizabeth (October 3, 2013). "Galena launches drug for cancer pain in the U.S.". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
  27. Hayes, Elizabeth (January 13, 2014). "Galena Biopharma acquisition may deliver promising new drug". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  28. "Amendment to Annual Report" (PDF). Business Entity Filing Records. Oregon Secretary of State. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  29. 1 2 "California investor takes aim at stock promoting, reports Lake Oswego biotech firm". Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  30. 1 2 "An Insider's Tale of a Stock Promotion Plan: Galena, CytRx - Barron's". Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  31. "CytRx Corporation (CYTR) news: Behind The Scenes With Dream Team, CytRx And Galena - Seeking Alpha". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  32. "At financial news sites, stock promoters make inroads - The Term Sheet: Fortune's deals blogTerm Sheet". CNN. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  33. Williams, Sean (7 April 2015). "Galena Biopharma Inc. Imploded in March -- Here's Why (GALE)". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  34. Hayes, Elizabeth. "Galena stock tanks as biotech darling records slow sales of new drug". American City Business Journals. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  35. "Can Galena Biopharma (GALE) Keep the Earnings Streak Alive This Quarter?". 9 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  36. Hayes, Elizabeth (13 April 2015). "Galena CEO: 'A lot of noise,' but the biotech company is 'on target'". American City Business Journals. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
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