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Geron (GERN) Soars on Imetelstat Data for Myelofibrosis

Shares of Geron Corporation GERN were up 29.8% after the company published data from the phase II IMbark study evaluating its lead pipeline candidate, imetelstat, for treating relapsed/refractory myelofibrosis (“MF”), last week.

In fact, the stock has rallied 15.1% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 1.8%.

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The above-mentioned data was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on Jun 17, 2021. Data from the study demonstrated the clinical benefits of treatment with imetelstat, including symptom response and overall survival (“OS”), as well as evidence of disease-modifying activity from biomarker and bone marrow fibrosis assessments.

Per the company, the published data on imetelstat reinforces the candidate’s novel approach for the treatment of MF, a chronic blood cancer. Hence, if successfully developed and upon potential approval, imetelstat can provide new treatment options for MF patients who no longer respond to currently approved JAKi therapies.

We remind investors that, in April 2021, Geron initiated the phase III study — IMpactMF — to evaluate imetelstat in patients with refractory MF. The company expects to report interim and final data from the study in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This study is targeting a patient population with significant unmet medical need. Its objective is to improve OS in MF patients who are refractory or unresponsive to treatment with JAK inhibitors.

Notably, apart from MF, the company is developing imetelstat for treating myelodysplastic syndrome (“MDS”). A phase III study, IMerge, is evaluating the candidate in patients with lower-risk MDS. The company expects to complete enrollment in this study in the second half of 2021 and top-line data from the same is expected between the end of 2022 and the first half of 2023.

The FDA has granted Fast Track designation to imetelstat for the treatment of patients with lower-risk MDS and also for patients with high-risk MF.

Moreover, the company is planning to develop imetelstat in additional hematologic myeloid malignancies.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Geron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector are Repligen Corporation RGEN, Trevena, Inc. TRVN and Bio-Techne Corporation TECH, all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Repligen’s earnings estimates have been revised 18.3% and 14.7% upward for 2021 and 2022, respectively, over the past 60 days. The stock has increased 3% year to date.

Trevena’s loss per share estimates have narrowed 6.4% for 2021 and 3.7% for 2022 over the past 60 days.

Bio-Techne’s earnings estimates have been revised upward by 8.8% and 9.1% for 2021 and 2022, respectively, over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 36% year to date.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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