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Galectin Therapeutics, Inc. recently completed a private placement of 0.5 million shares of unregistered common stock to an individual investor. The company raised $3 million by offering the shares at $6.00 per share.

Galectin intends to use the funds to speed up the process of starting a phase II study on GR-MD-02. GR-MD-02 is currently in phase I development for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and other forms of liver fibrosis.

The company had submitted an Investigational New Drug (IND) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Jan 2013, and received approval for starting a phase I study in Mar 2013.

The company signed an agreement with Clinical Trial Services, Inc. in Feb 2013, to study the safety and efficacy of GR-MD-02 in humans in a phase I study. Under the terms of the agreement, Clinical Trial Services will be responsible for the review and supply notices regarding IND safety reports, selection of investigators and monitoring the study, supplying information to the investigators regarding new observations, and other services for helping Galectin in conducting the study.

Galectin started enrolling patients in the phase I study on GR-MD-02 in Jul 2013. The company expects to report top-line results from the first cohort of the study later this year/early next year. Data from the remaining cohorts should be out in mid-14. The company expects data from phase II study by late 2015 or early 2016 depending on the design of the phase II study.

Furthermore, Galectin received a Fast Track Designation from the FDA for the development of GR-MD-02 in Aug 2013 for the treatment of NASH.

We note that Galectin also has an oncology candidate, GM-CT-01, in its portfolio. It is currently in phase I/II study in Europe for treating patients with advanced melanoma (skin cancer).

Currently, Galectin carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Companies that currently look well-positioned include Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company (JAZZ - Analyst Report) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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