Profile: Geron Corp (GERN.OQ)
9 Dec 2016
Geron Corporation (Geron), incorporated on November 28, 1990, is a biopharmaceutical company, which supports the clinical stage development of a telomerase inhibitor, Imetelstat, in hematologic myeloid malignancies by Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen). The Company operates through the segment, which includes discovery and development of therapeutic products for oncology. Using its nucleic acid chemistry, Geron designed Imetelstat to be an oligonucleotide that focuses and binds with high affinity to the active site of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity and impeding malignant cell proliferation. Janssen is engaged in the development of Imetelstat with over two clinical trials, such as a Phase II trial in myelofibrosis (MF), referred to as IMbark, and a Phase II/III trial in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) referred to as IMerge.
Imetelstat is a lipid conjugated 13-mer oligonucleotide that is designed to be complementary to and bind with high affinity to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) template of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity. The compound, Imetelstat, has a thio-phosphoramidate backbone, which is designed to provide resistance to the effect of cellular nucleases, thus conferring stability in plasma and tissues, as well as binding affinity to its target. Imetelstat's half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) is a 0.5-10 Nanometer (nM) in cell free assays. The tissue half-life of Imetelstat, or the time it takes for the concentration or amount of Imetelstat to be reduced by half, in bone marrow, spleen, liver and tumor has been estimated to be over 41 hours in humans, based on data from its animal studies and clinical trial data. Imetelstat has been shown in nonclinical studies to exhibit relatively preferential inhibition of the clonal proliferation of malignant progenitor cells compared to normal progenitors. The Company has completed the evaluation of safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic effects of Imetelstat in its Phase I trials.
The Company competes with CTI Biopharma Corporation and Gilead Sciences, Inc.
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