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Galena Biopharma Presents HER2 Screening Data Including Preliminary Leica Bond Oracle(TM) Results From the Phase 3 NeuVax(TM) (nelipepimut-S) Clinical Trial at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS)

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 11, 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 that initial immunohistochemistry (IHC) screening data from the NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S) Phase 3 PRESENT (Prevention of Recurrence in Early-Stage, Node-Positive Breast Cancer with Low to Intermediate HER2 Expression with NeuVax Treatment) trial was presented at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).

The poster, entitled, "HER2 Discordant Results in Local vs. Central Testing in the Phase 3 Nelipepimut-S Trial and Implementation of Leica Bond Oracle HER2 Immunohistochemistry (IHC) System for Low and Intermediate Levels (1+, 2+) of HER2 Protein Expression as a Companion Diagnostic," demonstrated that with the implementation of the Leica Bond Oracle HER2 IHC assay, preliminary limited data indicated additional patients met HER2 eligibility for PRESENT and the assay identified more precisely patients at HER2 1+ and 2+.

As part of the PRESENT trial, Galena has implemented central laboratory testing for all potential patients to confirm validated and robust entry criteria, and ensure the enrollment of the targeted patient population. To improve accuracy and specificity for the HER2 1+ and 2+ status testing, and develop a companion diagnostic for NeuVax, the Leica Bond Oracle™ HER2 IHC system has been incorporated as central HER2 IHC screening for the PRESENT study.

Mark W. Schwartz, Ph.D., President & CEO of Galena, commented, "NeuVax is a highly specific, directed immunotherapy targeting the HER2 1+/2+ adjuvant breast cancer patient population where there are no HER2 directed treatment options. Currently approved HER2 agents only target HER2 overexpressing (IHC 3+) breast cancers. As a result, the companion diagnostic tests are only approved to assess IHC 3+ expression of HER2, and there are currently no companion IHC diagnostic tests approved to distinguish between patients who are HER2 IHC 0, 1+, or 2+."

Dr. Schwartz continued, "Given these factors, there is a need to establish a companion diagnostic to show an accurate distinction across all levels of HER2. We are working closely with our partners at Leica utilizing central testing confirmation of the patient samples to ensure that we are enrolling and treating the right patient population in the PRESENT trial, with the hope of offering personalized medicine for these women to prevent their breast cancer recurrence."

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. Galena has two additional breast cancer trials ongoing with NeuVax in combination with Herceptin® (trastuzumab; Genentech/Roche): a Phase 2b in node positive and triple negative HER2 IHC 1+/2+, and a Phase 2 in neoadjuvant node positive & negative HER2 IHC 3+.

About HER2 1+/2+ Breast Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, over 230,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Of these women, only about 25% are HER2 positive (IHC 3+). NeuVax targets approximately 50%-60% of these women who are HER2 low to intermediate (IHC 1+/2+ or FISH < 2.0) and achieve remission with current standard of care, but have no available HER2-targeted adjuvant treatment options to maintain their disease-free status.

About Leica Biosystems

Leica Biosystems is a global leader in workflow solutions and automation, striving to advance cancer diagnostics to improve patients' lives. Leica Biosystems provides anatomical pathology laboratories and researchers a comprehensive product range for each step in the pathology process, from sample preparation and staining to imaging and reporting. Leica's easy-to-use and consistently reliable offerings help improve workflow efficiency and diagnostic confidence. The company is represented in over 100 countries. It has manufacturing facilities in 7 countries, sales and service organizations in 19 countries, and an international network of dealers. The company is headquartered in Nussloch, Germany. Further information can be found at www.LeicaBiosystems.com

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 progress of the commercialization of Abstral® and development of Galena's product candidates, including NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S), patient enrollment in our 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.

CONTACT: Remy Bernarda VP, Marketing & Communications (503) 405-8258 rbernarda@galenabiopharma.com

Source:Galena Biopharma