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Biotech / Medical
GERN $1.40
An SI Board Since December 2011
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Emcee:  investing5678 Type:  Moderated
GERN - 5 FDA phase 2 trials and 1 phase 1 plus hESC IP for an enterprise value of $39 mm

Geron (GERN) is a storied biotech company (having traded to $75/share in 1996) having had, at their ipo, the audacious goal of extending human life – read immortality (no, really!).
GERN - 5 FDA phase 2 trials and 1 phase 1 plus hESC IP for an enterprise value of $39 mm
GERN also developed the leading worldwide position in Embryonic Stem Cell patents and knowhow. Recently GERN announced that they decided to exit the clinic with their Human Embryonic Stem Cells for spinal chord injury and the stock tanked.
Healthy human cells need Telomerase ( to multiply and GERN has the patent estate on Telomerase. But then having learned that Telomerase also helps cancer cells grow, they switched to plan B.
Cancer cells, like Embryonic Stem Cells, will multiply essentially forever, as long as the have enough Telomerase.
GERN is now in 4 phase 2 cancer trials (data in 2012) with their Telomerase inhibitor drug, Imetelstat, in breast, lung and myeloma cancers.
Like others, GERN is attempting to cure cancer-or at least impede its progression. Their angle is that cancers reoccur, even after surgery,radiation, chemotherapy and remission, because of ‘Cancer Stem Cells’. So, in combination with existing cancer killing drugs (for tumor debulking) and Imetelstat to kill the Cancer Stem Cells, they hope to provide a cure.
Geron has another drug (GRN 1005) in a phase 2 clinical trial for brain cancer. GRN 1005 has a mechanism (proven in phase 1) for transporting cancer killing drugs across the blood-brain barrier.
Even a hint of “curing cancer” can be rewarding.
With Provenge, Dendreon (DNDN) slowed the progression of Prostate Cancer by 4.0 months and was, at the high, awarded an $8 billion market valuation. Patients pay (and Medicare reimburses) $93,000 for the recommended 3 courses of injections or $23,000 per extra month of expected life.
Recently, Medivation (MDVN), in its Phase 3 study, extended that to 5 months and now trades at a $1.5 billion valuation.
Geron, at $1.40, has a market cap of $190 mm and expects to end 2011 with $150mm in cash and spend $65mm in C 2012.
Geron’s new CEO, John (Chip) Scarlett, previously sold out two biotech companies to big pharma and has a 1mm share option on GERN at $2/share
A director has recently been buying stock

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