What happened

Shares of the clinical-stage biotech Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) are in bounce-back mode today, thanks to the announcement of two oral presentations at the upcoming American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting this December. At the meeting, Geron will reportedly provide an overview of the drug's progress in patients with advanced myelofibrosis and myelodysplastic syndromes -- two potential deadly bone marrow disorders.   

As of 1:51 p.m. EDT, the drugmaker's shares were up by a noteworthy 15.75%  in the wake of this announcement. 

3-D image of a cell.

Image Source: Getty Images.

So what

Geron's stock has been getting routed ever since its former partner Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) decided to hand back imetelstat's rights and terminate their blood cancer partnership earlier this year. So while these dual conference presentations aren't exactly game changers, it does give the company's shareholders a ray of hope that imetelstat may be worth developing after all -- despite J&J's exit. 

Now what

After the closing bell today, Geron is slated to release its third-quarter results and hold a conference call to discuss the events that took place over the three-month period. The two overriding issues investors should key in on during the upcoming quarterly release are the company's current cash position and management's latest plans for imetelstat's late-stage development.

As a refresher, Geron's brass noted during their last update that they were planning to advance imetelstat into a pivotal trial for myelodysplastic syndromes by mid-2019 but that a similar trial for advanced myelofibrosis may not be possible quite yet for financial reasons. Today's quarterly conference call should therefore provide some much-needed clarity on  imetelstat's future, as well as the company's all-important financial situation.

 

George Budwell owns shares of Geron and Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and has the following options: short January 2019 $140 calls on Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.