BTIG Reaffirms Geron (GERN) at 'Neutral' Following Imetelstat Update

September 12, 2016 11:13 AM EDT
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BTIG affirms Geron Corp. (Nasdaq: GERN) with a Neutral rating after the company provided updates on the clinical trials being conducted by Janssen Research & Development, LLC, of the telomerase inhibitor imetelstat.

Analyst Ling Wang commented today, For the IMbark trial, partner Janssen has determined the lower dose 4.7 mg/kg in IMbark trial does not warrant further investigation, and therefore will be closed (consistent with our expectation). Although the higher dose 9.4 mg/kg did not meet the pre-defined interim criteria at this 12-week data assessment, Janssen believes this arm warrants further investigation due to encouraging trends in the efficacy data observed. The IMerge trial has fully enrolled the 30 patients in part I. The trial will continue unmodified.

Additional interim analysis of the IMbark trial is expected in 2Q17, which should have a sufficient number of patients and follow-up to inform the future development plan of this dose. The Phase II/III IMerge trial has fully enrolled the 30 patients in part I. Additional assessment will occur in 2Q17 as well. A go-no-go decision will be made based on the benefit/risk analysis of these patients. Enrollment for Phase III is expected to start in mid-2017 if Janssen decides to advance the trial into Phase III, the analyst noted.

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