) posted a net loss of 9 cents per share in the first quarter of
2013, wider than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 8
cents but narrower than the year-ago loss of 15 cents. First
quarter revenues of $765,000 were well below the year-ago
revenues of $1.3 million and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1
million. A significant decline in expenses led to the narrower
Quarter in Detail
Revenues consisted entirely of royalties and license fees.
Total operating expenses declined 36.6% to $12.8 million.
Research and development expenses declined 47% to $8 million due
to reduced personnel-related costs and lower costs related to the
manufacturing of imetelstat and GRN1005 as well as lower costs
resulting from the winding-down of the imetelstat (metastatic
breast cancer and advanced non-small cell lung cancer) and
GRN1005 (brain metastases) studies. Meanwhile, general and
administrative expenses declined 5.9% to $4.8 million, mainly due
to lower personnel-related costs.
Update on Imetelstat
Geron also provided an update on its plans for pipeline
candidate, imetelstat. Geron said that it intends to focus on
developing imetelstat for hematologic myeloid malignancies and
does not plan to study the candidate in non-small cell lung
cancer with short telomeres or essential thrombocythemia
Geron said that it intends to discontinue its discovery
research and companion diagnostics programs and will shut down
its research laboratory facility. This will lead to workforce
reduction of 20 positions. Although these steps will lead to cost
savings in 2013, the company does not expect a significant impact
on its operating budget as it will be incurring restructuring
charges. The company also announced the departure of the
Executive Vice President, Research & Development and Chief
Medical Officer Stephen M. Kelsey, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.Path.,
effective May 3, 2013.
Meanwhile, Geron said that enrollment of the first cohort of
patients in an investigator-sponsored study on imetelstat at Mayo
Clinic for myelofibrosis (MF) was completed at the end of March.
With pre-specified criteria in the clinical protocol being met,
expanded enrollment should continue. Data from this study is
slated to be presented later this year at the annual meeting of
the American Society for Hematology. Positive data from this
study would allow Geron to design and initiate a
company-sponsored multi-center study in MF.
Other investigator-sponsored trials this year could be on
hematologic myeloid indications like acute myelogenous leukemia
and myelodysplastic syndromes.
Geron currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Companies that
look better-positioned include
Cleveland BioLabs, Inc.
) which are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks.
ATHERSYS INC (ATHX): Free Stock Analysis
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