) posted a net loss of 6 cents per share in the second quarter of
2013, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 7
cents and the year-ago loss of 14 cents. Second quarter revenues
of $112,000 were below the year-ago revenues of $130,000 and the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $400,000. A significant decline in
expenses led to the narrower loss.
Quarter in Detail
Revenues consisted entirely of royalties and license fees.
Total operating expenses declined 55.7% to $8.2 million. Research
and development expenses declined 62.4% to $4.8 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 41.2% to $3.4 million, mainly
due to lower personnel-related costs and lower legal costs.
Update on Imetelstat
Geron also provided an update on its pipeline candidate,
imetelstat. Geron said that patients continue to be treated and
followed in a proof-of-concept phase II study of imetelstat in
patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET).
Meanwhile, an investigator-sponsored open-label study on
imetelstat for myelofibrosis (MF) continues. Pre-specified
criteria were met in two cohorts of the study thereby allowing
further patient enrolment. The investigator is also considering
the addition of more cohorts to evaluate the effect of different
Moreover, the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board recently
approved a protocol amendment for the addition of a new cohort of
11 patients with MF that has transformed into acute myelogenous
leukemia (blast-phase MF).
Positive data from the investigator-initiated study would
allow Geron to design and initiate a company-sponsored
multi-center study in MF in 2014.
Other investigator-sponsored trials could be on hematologic
myeloid indications like acute myelogenous leukemia and
Geron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Shares were up
16.4% on the second quarter results and the imetelstat update. We
expect investor focus to remain on further updates on
At present, companies like
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
) look attractive with all three being Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)
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