This story has been updated from 9:49 AM EST with additional information.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Two articles touting Galena Biopharma (GALE) were removed from Seeking Alpha Monday because they were written by the same person using different aliases.
This is the second time Seeking Alpha has been forced to take action against individuals using multiple aliases to tout Galena, a small drug developer with a breast cancer vaccine in a phase III study. In January 2013, the investor Web site removed five articles promoting Galena written by the same individual under three different pseudonyms.
The most recent incident is more serious and potentially damaging because of evidence linking Galena to a stock-promotions firm which wrote and published the articles on Seeking Alpha. The articles were part of a broader, coordinated "brand awareness campaign" designed to boost Galena's stock price, according to a document obtained by TheStreet.
Aided by this promotional campaign, Galena shares tripled in value from this summer. Coincidence or not, Galena insiders have made millions of dollars by selling company stock in January.
Galena did not respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment.
[Update: Following publication of this story, DreamTeam Group removed the Galena compensation disclosure from its web site. Here is the screen shot disclosing Galena's payment to DreamTeam Group.]
Publicly traded companies routinely pitch their stock to new investors, but some of DreamTeam's marketing tactics appear to resemble stock promotion schemes which run afoul of standard investor relations practices. Among its other services, DreamTeam Group operates more than two dozen investor Web sites with names like "Home Run Stocks," "Touchdown Stocks," "Quality Stocks," and "Tout Sheet." The Web sites entice investors with stock picks that can "trade for at least a 100% profit." All the stock picks touted on these DreamTeam Web sites, including Galena, are paying clients -- a fact omitted from the Web sites unless someone clicks on a small disclaimer link. Galena was promoted on many of the DreamTeam stock-touting Web sites to create "market buzz about the company to a new group of investors," according to a DreamTeam document, "Galena Biopharma Case Study: Investor Awareness Campaign" obtained by TheStreet. As part of this campaign, DreamTeam published favorable articles about Galena on Seeking Alpha on Aug. 7, 2013 and Nov. 22, 2013, according to the case-study document. But the articles were written under aliases and make no mention of DreamTeam or its paid marketing relationship with Galena. Instead, they're written from the perspective of individual investors recommending an investment in Galena to other readers of Seeking Alpha.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV