Why Geron Corporation Shares Jumped

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 Geron (NASDAQ: GERN  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies to treat various types of cancer, jumped as much as 18% after an encouraging study by the Mayo Clinic demonstrated the effectiveness of Geron's experimental myelofibrosis drug, imetelstat.

So what: According to Bloomberg, the Mayo Clinic study involved 22 myelofibrosis patients who were studied for at least six months. The study notes that five patients achieved a partial or complete remission, while 41% of patients overall responded to the therapy. What's really exciting about this study, despite it being arguably small, is that complete responses in treating myelofibrosis are extremely rare, signaling the potential benefit that imetelstat could bring to patients.

Now what: I certainly won't take anything away from the Mayo Clinic's published results, but I continue to feel that Geron shareholders could be playing with fire here. At the moment for Geron, it's imetelstat or bust. This isn't to say that imetelstat hasn't delivered in clinical trials thus far (because it has), but I would point out that one drug over two clinical indications isn't a very diverse pipeline. I would contend that much of imetelstat's positive news of late has been baked into Geron's share price, and it wouldn't take much to knock Geron off its high horse if something didn't go its way with its lead drug. My suggestion would be to wait for a significant pullback or late-stage data to stream in before we get too excited about Geron's prospects.

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  • Report this Comment On December 08, 2013, at 6:17 PM, leviek wrote:

    With all due respect, this is simply the worst advice anyone familiar with the situation can give.

    Waiting to see if Imetelstat works is ridiculous and simply points to the fact the author has no knowledge, or incomplete knowledge, of the telomerase inhibitor drug, Imetelstat.

    Waiting for what, I might ask? The wait you talk about would have already cost a 500% move in the last few months. I suppose, without understanding the logic behind Geron's Imetelstat platform, one can wait for a 1000% move and the maybe decide they have enough information.

    Check your resources and look at the logic. Motley Fool is being completely and foolishly (excuse the pun) illogical. Imetelstat works: however, the extent of which can go from a modifying effect of myelofibrosis up to a cure. Additional positive outcomes may occur as more information is gathered over the next few years.

    The Motley Fool statements are absurd!!!!

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