January is a little more than half over and already these shares have gained almost 50% ytd.
When a stock makes that kind of move in such a short period of time, it captures Jim Cramer's attention.
The stock is Galena BioPharma.
"With a market cap of about $750 million, this is a smaller stock," Cramer noted, and therefore it can only ever be appropriate for speculation. Nonetheless Cramer thinks it warrants attention.
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"Galena is an oncology play," Cramer explained. "It develops cancer treatments, including NeuVax, a vaccine designed to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer in people who have already survived the disease."
Also, in a strategic partnership with India-based Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, NeuVax will be developed as a potential treatment for gastric cancer. According to published reports, gastric cancer is highly prevalent in India as well as other parts of Asia.
Therefore the partnership could open up a sizable market for the drug.
Following developments several Wall Street firms upped their price targets for Galena. For example Roth Capital raised its price target from $11 to $12 and reiterated its 'Buy' rating. Those upgrades were likely behind the recent 50% surge higher.
However, NeuVax is not without skeptics. "Adam Feuerstein, TheStreet.com's biotech expert, has been relentlessly negative about the science behind the drug's previous phase II study," Cramer noted. "And a University of Pennsylvania study published about a year ago said that cancer vaccines such as NeuVax which target a specific antigen are ineffective."
In response, to those criticisms, Mark Ahn, the President and CEO of GalenaBiopharma told Cramer "of the patients in the Phase II study of NeuVax, 0% of those patients had a recurrence of cancer."
Although Cramer is intrigued by the opportunity, the Mad Money host rarely advocates chasing a stock that's clibmed 50% in about 15 days. "Personally, if you're long, after Galena's incredible run I think you'd be nuts not to ring the register," Cramer said.
However, Cramer also thinks the company warrants further attention. "Read the research. Learn about this company and the drug. The path to profits begins with an informed investor."
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