Geron Strong After Buy Rating but Investors Look for News on Cancelled Stem Cell Program

After Stifel Nicolaus initiated a Buy rating on Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) Thursday morning, shares are up 10% to $2.68. The $4 target price initially created 13% gains after the open, but shares have declined slightly as traders take profits off the top. The move marks a 2012 high for Geron since it cancelled its stem cell program in November in favor of a focus on oncology drugs. The company develops Imetelstat, a telomerase inhibitor in Phase 2 trials, and GRN1005 which is entering Phase 2 studies for brain metastases. Imetelstat, the company’s lead compound, is in trials evaluating the drug as a maintenance therapy for metastatic breast cancer, advanced non-small cell lung cancer, essential thrombocythemia and multiple myeloma. It completed enrollment for the NSCLC trial in May and hopes to have top-line data before the end of the year as well as top-line data from the metastatic breast cancer trial in 1Q of 2013. (more…)