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Biotech / Medical : Geron Corp.
GERN 2.070-1.0%Dec 8 4:00 PM EST

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From: tktrimbath6/30/2012 10:56:08 AM
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INTRO Here's my semi-annual exercise to see if I remember why I own the stocks I own, and so I can check back and see if their stories have changed. I post in case it helps others too.

GERN (market cap $0.226B)
Geron is the leading edge of biotech, in my opinion. They are advancing technologies for cloning, nuclear transfer, stem cells, and telomerase. Done right they can repair damage, grow organs, and control the life and death cycle of cells. They are engaged in at least 6 phase two clinical trials for cancer treatments. They own an impressive patent portfolio. Management seems to properly understand and manage public perception and the debate around some of the more sensitive issues. They have little or no debt. They could redefine medicine, using the body to tend the body in ways that exceeds Dendreon's achievements technically, clinically, and financially.

But, they survive on dilution and must continue to do so for years unless licensing fees become more significant; they cancelled a stem cell clinical trial that attempted to regrow damaged nerves, or at least increase nerve function. The stem cell portion of the business is effectively up for sale, which decreases their internal diversification. I've held them for so long that I start to wonder about the age of their patents within their portfolio.

I conduct this exercise to see if the story has changed. Geron has made progress, but disruptive technologies are slowed in their move through the conventional regulatory bureaucracy. Dendreon was delayed by years. Geron seems to have encountered similar resistance. I think they set a record number of pages for the stem cell trial, which produced an incredibly tight set of trial conditions. I don't know of any significant competitor, but delays do not benefit the company and, if the treatments are successful, delays don't benefit the patient population.

There's little else to say for now, but if they announce positive results a lot will be said in the media. Of course, I thought that about the nerve treatment study, but they didn't produce the necessary positive results.

DISCLOSURE LTBH since 1999 and continuing to hold because I may have enough stock if they succeed, and may have time to buy more at these low prices as they make progress if I have discretionary cash (which I don't - let me check my lottery tickets). Unfortunately, I may have to sell if I can't find a job or sell my house.
(I've also collected links to the other discussion boards and my other stocks over on my blog
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