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Geron Corporation

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Geron reported narrower-than-expected loss in fourth-quarter 2016 with revenue marginally missing estimates. We are positive on the company’s agreement with J&J for imetelstat, which provides it with a strong partner as well as funds. However, Geron's dependence on a single pipeline candidate imetelstat raises concerns. In Sep 2016, Geron/J&J reported unfavorable findings from the planned internal reviews of initial data from two late-stage studies for imetelstat. However, the company mentioned that Janssen has initiated the second internal reviews, and the final decision expected in the second quarter of 2017. Geron clarified that Janssen is working on further development plans for the drug, including prospects around dosing in IMbark and opening the phase III part of IMerge for patient enrolment. The company’s shares have underperformed the Zacks classified Medical-Biomedical/Genetics industry in the past one year.

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