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   Biotech / MedicalGeron Corp.


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From: tktrimbath12/31/2011 1:34:43 PM
   of 3554
 
My semi-annual review of Geron

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.

Geron
GERN (market cap $0.195B)
Geron is one of the most leading edge biotech companies that aims to treat critical diseases and ailments through nuclear transfer (cloning), telomerase management, and stem cell administration. They are an old startup without any active products, except for what is involved in clinical trials. I had hopes for their stem cell nerve regeneration clinical trial and was disappointed when they cancelled the study. The stock suffered appreciably. Their technologies and patent portfolios (particularly the cloning patents) are impressive. Management seems to be mature in the handling of potentially socially sensitive treatments. If they succeed, their products and services will revolutionize may types of severe afflictions, including cancer. Unfortunately, they are only in phase II at best, and therefore probably have years before an FDA approval and revenues. As Dendreon (DNDN) proved, innovative medical practices meet significantly higher regulatory and financial hurdles.

I think the most appropriate stock valuation is based on the present value of future revenues discount for risk. Currently in general the market is valuing future revenues as nearly zero or risk as nearly 100%. Even a battered biotech like Dendreon has a market cap of over $1B, which suggests that an FDA approval for a Geron treatment could produce a Geron market cap that is five times above today's valuation. Apply your own discounts as you see appropriate. I think the discount is balanced by the fact that any single treatment would most likely legitimize the other treatments in the pipeline.

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 and if I have discretionary cash (which I don't - let me check my lottery tickets) or if I have to rebalance my portfolio (like if DNDN was bought out for $120, ok how about $60).
(I've also collected links to the other discussion boards and my other stocks over on my blog trimbathcreative.wordpress.com)

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From: Casaubon4/22/2012 1:15:04 PM
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DePinho and Sahin recently published on the adaptive mechanisms provoked by anti-telomerase therapy:

Cell, 2012, v.148, p.651

If anyone is interested in discussing the ramifications to GERN, I would be interested in participating in that conversation. Topics of interest would include how the FDA would respond to the potential for driving a resistance mechanism, given the potential for a sustained positive response in a subset of patients. Also, of interest would be potential oxidative defense drugs, which could be utilized in combination with anti-telomerase therapy, to potentially increase the efficacy of GRN163L.

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From: Savant5/3/2012 10:36:35 AM
   of 3554
 
Geron beats by $0.03, beats on revs
Reports Q1 (Mar) loss of $0.15 per share, $0.03 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.18); revenues fell 16.9% year/year to $1.25 mln vs the $0.7 mln consensus. Research and development expenses for the first quarter of 2012 were $15.1 million, compared to $16.8 million for the comparable 2011 period. The decrease in research and development expenses reflected reduced personnel-related costs and lower scientific supplies expenses resulting from the discontinuation of the company's stem cell programs, partially offset by increased clinical trial expenses for the enrollment of four Phase 2 clinical trials of imetelstat and two Phase 2 clinical trials of GRN1005 and increased drug product purchases and manufacturing costs related to imetelstat and GRN1005.

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From: tktrimbath6/30/2012 10:56:08 AM
   of 3554
 
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.

Geron
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 trimbathcreative.wordpress.com)

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To: tktrimbath who wrote (3337)6/30/2012 8:04:09 PM
From: Casaubon
   of 3554
 
Unfortunately, I have to disagree at this point. GERN has become just another biotech oncology cr@pshoot. The scientific literature supports multiple mechanisms by which this might pan out. However, clinically relevant results have been hard to come by. Let's hope the tumor initiating cell/DNA damage repair mechanisms plays out clinically in the next six months, or this things circling the bowl.

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From: Savant7/31/2012 1:25:19 PM
   of 3554
 
Geron beats by $0.01, misses on revs
Reports Q2 (Jun) loss of $0.14 per share, $0.01 better than the Capital IQ Consensus Estimate of ($0.15); revenues fell 71.9% year/year to $0.13 mln vs the $0.48 mln consensus. Total operating expenses for the second quarter of 2012 were $18.6 million, compared to $21.9 million for the comparable 2011 period. Research and development expenses for the second quarter of 2012 were $12.8 million, compared to $16.5 million for the comparable 2011 period. General and administrative expenses for the second quarter of 2012 were $5.8 million, compared to $5.3 million for the comparable 2011 period.

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From: Savant7/31/2012 1:32:52 PM
   of 3554
 
July 3rd.. Geron Corp Registers Mixed-Securities Shelf For Up To $200M

Last Update: 7/3/2012 5:22:13 PM

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From: Savant8/17/2012 11:32:39 AM
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seekingalpha.com

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From: Savant8/30/2012 11:25:25 AM
   of 3554
 
Geron Started At Buy By Stifel Nicolaus

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From: Savant9/10/2012 12:59:47 PM
   of 3554
 
Out of the blue....Geron Ends Study of Imetelstat for Breast Cancer; Cites Shorter Survival Period

Last Update: 9/10/2012 8:02:38 AM

By Melodie Warner

Geron Corp. (GERN) is discontinuing its Phase 2 study of imetelstat in metastatic
HER2-negative breast cancer because the median progression-free survival was
shorter than the comparison treatment.

The biopharmaceutical company was evaluating imetelstat in combination with
chemotherapy drug paclitaxel and comparing it to paclitaxel alone.

Geron said the median progression-free survival was 6.2 months for patients
receiving imetelstat, compared with eight months for patients receiving
paclitaxel alone.

The company also said a scheduled periodic review by its internal safety
monitoring committee found a greater number of deaths in patients taking the
imetelstat treatment. Although the absolute number of deaths was higher, there
was no statistically significant difference in overall survival.

Based on these findings, Geron decided to discontinue the breast cancer trial.

The company will continue its Phase 2 study of imetelstat in advanced nonsmall
cell lung cancer. However, a separate interim analysis of the NSCLC study
suggested a modest trend of efficacy in favor of the imetelstat arm, indicating
the prespecified success criteria in this trial are unlikely to be met. As a
consequence, Geron said it is doubtful that it will take imetelstat forward into
Phase 3 development for NSCLC.

Geron said its plans for further development of imetelstat in two hematologic
malignancies--essential thrombocythemia and multiple myeloma--haven't been
impacted by these results.

Shares closed Friday at $2.90 and were halted in premarket trading. The stock is
up 96% since the beginning of the year.

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