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Why Galectin Therapeutics Inc. Shares Jumped


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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Galectin Thersapeutics , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical focused on developing therapies to treat fibrotic diseases and cancer, advanced as much as 12% after announcing the dosing of its first patient in the second cohort of a phase 1 study for GR-MD-02.

So what: The buzz surrounding GR-MD-02 is that it treats nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, a serious disease characterized by fatty buildup in the liver that could affect as much as 5% of the U.S population, meaning there's a wide moat opportunity for treatment. This next dosing cohort will involve patients receiving four mg/kg of GR-MD-02, which is double the dose of the first cohort in its phase 1 dose-escalating studies. The first cohort, if you recall, demonstrated both safety and tolerability, which is the common primary endpoint of phase 1 studies.

Now what: Shareholders are certainly loving the relief rally on the heels of today's press release, but they should also realize that we haven't even hit the meat and potatoes of GR-MD-02's efficacy yet, which is what's really going to add some differentiation to this therapy. I would suggest not getting too wrapped up by the word "NASH" in any drug's indication at the moment, and would stick to the sidelines until we have top-line efficacy data from a mid-stage study.

Galectin shares may have soared today, but it'll likely have a hard time keeping pace with this top stock in 2014
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The article Why Galectin Therapeutics Inc. Shares Jumped originally appeared on Fool.com.

Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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