Profile: Geron Corp (GERN.OQ)
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 is engaged in the development of therapeutic products for oncology. Using its nucleic acid chemistry, Geron designed Imetelstat to be an oligonucleotide that binds with high affinity to the ribonucleic acid (RNA) template of telomerase, thereby directly inhibiting telomerase activity. Janssen is engaged in the development of Imetelstat with 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 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. Single-dose kinetics in patients has shown dose-dependent increases in exposure to imetelstat, with a plasma half-life, which is the time it takes for the concentration or amount of imetelstat to be reduced by half, ranging from 4 to 5 hours. 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.
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