PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 8, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galena Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:GALE), a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing innovative, targeted oncology treatments that address major medical needs across the full spectrum of cancer care, today announced the Notice of Allowance of a U.S. patent application covering methods of treating patients having any HER2/neu expressing cancer by administering NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) in combination with Herceptin ® (trastuzumab; Genentech/Roche). NeuVax is a peptide immunotherapy for the prevention of cancer recurrence and is Galena's lead development agent in multiple ongoing and planned clinical trials.

Importantly, the allowed claims of this patent application cover all HER2/neu expressing cancer types and patient populations (e.g., patients characterized by particular fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)/Immunohistochemistry (IHC) levels of HER2/neu). The patent will expire in 2026, not including any patent term extensions. 

"This patent is a fundamental addition to our NeuVax intellectual property portfolio as it expands our coverage footprint to a broader set of potential indications and patient populations," said Mark W. Schwartz, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. "The NeuVax patent family now covers a range of potential treatment settings. With our current ongoing and planned clinical trials of NeuVax, we have built a robust platform for targeted treatments of HER2 expressing cancers in multiple indications both as a single agent and in combination with existing agents."

About NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S)

NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) is the immunodominant peptide derived from the extracellular domain of the HER2 protein, a well-established target for therapeutic intervention in breast carcinoma. The nelipepimut-S sequence stimulates specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) following binding to HLA-A2/A3 molecules on antigen presenting cells (APC). These activated specific CTLs recognize, neutralize and destroy, through cell lysis, HER2 expressing cancer cells, including occult cancer cells and micrometastatic foci. The nelipepimut-S immune response can also generate CTLs to other immunogenic peptides through inter- and intra-antigenic epitope spreading. NeuVax is currently in an international, Phase 3 PRESENT ( Prevention of Recurrence in Early- Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment) study under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Additional information on the PRESENT trial can be found at www.neuvax.com. A randomized, multicenter investigator sponsored, 300 patient Phase 2b clinical trial is also enrolling patients to study NeuVax in combination with Herceptin ® (trastuzumab; Genentech/Roche).

About Galena Biopharma

Galena Biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:GALE) is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing innovative, targeted oncology therapeutics that address major medical needs across the full spectrum of cancer care. Galena's development portfolio ranges from mid- to late-stage clinical assets, including a robust immunotherapy program led by NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) currently in an international, Phase 3 clinical trial. The Company's commercial drugs include Abstral ® (fentanyl) Sublingual Tablets and Zuplenz ® (ondansetron) Oral Soluble Film. Collectively, Galena's clinical and commercial strategy focuses on identifying and advancing therapeutic opportunities to improve cancer care, from direct treatment of the disease to the reduction of its debilitating side-effects. For more information, visit  www.galenabiopharma.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the issuance of patents based on Notices of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the scope of patent protection for the company's product candidates afforded by any patents if issued, and the progress and development of Galena's product candidates in clinical trials, as well as statements about our expectations, plans and prospects. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those identified under "Risk Factors" in Galena's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and most recent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements. Galena does not undertake to update any of these forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views or events or circumstances that occur after the date of this press release.

NeuVax™ is a trademark of Galena Biopharma, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
CONTACT: Remy Bernarda         VP, Marketing & Communications         (503) 405-8258         rbernarda@galenabiopharma.com

Galena Biopharma, Inc.