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Geron To Focus on Cancer Programs Discontinues Internal Development of Spinal Stem Cell Programs-66 Jobs Go Away–Biotech

Posted Nov 14 2011 10:45pm

Sad to say but when you look at where we have gone, we have a bunch of fools in this country that seem to think social algorithms hold the secrets to curing what ever ales one…well they don’t.  I have commented for the last 2 years here on this insanity of the valuation of such algorithms and the server farms (the only tangible assets that some of them have if at all) and how ridiculous we look when seeing the valuations of IPOs over social networks.  Don’t get me wrong, I like social networks and use them as they best fit me, but come on the money they make selling our data is enough to put a bit of a resistance in place here. 

Do you remember by chance what Geron went through to get this stem cell clinical trial program going?  It was started and then stopped. 

Geron Gets FDA Approval To Resume Stem-Cell Study - Spinal Cord Injuries - Go UC Irvine!

We do have a bunch of greedy banks that use marketing and other avenues to convince those who are gullible that these networks should be valued in the billions, well here’s the payback with biotech starving for investments and here’s what one company is going to to do, so all those folks hanging on to over valued social games and networks are somewhat helping shoot biotech in the foot. 

Stanford Joins Geron Spinal Cord Clinical Trials Program as the 3rd Location in the US

So no more new participants to be accepted in the spinal cord stem cell projects…but they can talk about it on their social networks on how the funding is drying up.  The good news though is that they are still focusing and working on their cancer drug trials.    On the same track look at this Genetic company, wow had a $43 million IPO!   This is sad that we have misplaced values and ethics today. 

“NewLink Genetics Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing novel immunotherapeutic products to improve cancer treatment options for patients and physicians. Our portfolio includes biologic and small-molecule immunotherapy product candidates intended to treat a wide range of oncology indications. Our lead product candidate, image HyperAcute Pancreas cancer immunotherapy is being studied in a Phase 3 clinical trial in surgically resected pancreatic cancer patients that is being performed under a Special Protocol Assessment with the United States Food and Drug Administration.”

It doesn’t sound like much when you look at the ridiculously rated Groupon IPA that basically saved them from bankruptcy from what I have read.  NewLink the IPO shares will sell for $10.  NewLink is working on a immunotherapy for Pancreatic Cancer…well gee that’s not as interesting as a social network coupon I guess, even though it’s in phase 3 clinical trials.  If Steve Jobs were still around today he might have a real interest in work as such. 

About the time I get done writing this I can savor going back to Twitter to see a ton of tweets about healthcare not using social networks adequately…those make me laugh but again I look at the source here as most probably do not know how bad biotech financing is today and we need it.  When big pharma and big corporations come in and run the show, then we have this…bad analytics and marketing for profit so the key is to fund the small to medium biotechs as that’s where our future cures and treatments will come from

Well for all the games and entertainment and spin doctors out there who market, some of this is finally beginning to hurt, but other countries like China and India don’t seem to have this issue, they have others but not this one and focus heavily on biotech research and development.  Our games and social network valuations obsessions will send us down the tubes and we will fall further back if we don’t attain better balance and values here.  They may have cures while we have over valued digital coupons that go nowhere. 

Even the government gets confused as with such high inflated values and when you have figure heads with no IT background, they think they are missing something if they don’t jump in…like this below…the geek crowds have roared about this one ever since it came out…HIPAA and Facebook in the same sentence >grin>.  Not picking but this one really is priceless with the contest for disaster…hmmmm…how about a riot..is that a disaster??  Well put this program in place and it will take an act of Congress to make that ruling to determine what is and what is not a disaster…social networks love that chaos and we all suffer with the stupidity it leads to without leaders that have just a touch of IT literacy.  BD 

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov 14, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Geron Corporation GERN -17.73% today announced that, effective immediately, the Company will focus on its first-in-class oncology programs. As a consequence, the Company will discontinue further development of its stem cell programs and is seeking partners for these novel assets.

"In the current environment of capital scarcity and uncertain economic conditions, we intend to focus our resources on advancing our Phase 2 clinical trials of imetelstat and GRN1005. These two novel and promising oncology drug candidates target major unmet medical needs and have important clinical development milestones occurring over the next 20 months," said Geron's Chief Executive Officer, John A. Scarlett, M.D. "By narrowing our focus to the oncology therapeutic area, we anticipate having sufficient financial resources to reach these important near-term value inflection points for shareholders without the necessity of raising additional capital. This would not be possible if we continue to fund the stem cell programs at the current levels.

The decision to narrow Geron's technology and therapeutic focus was made after a strategic review of the costs, value inflection timelines and clinical, manufacturing and regulatory complexities associated with the Company's research and clinical-stage assets. With this decision, Geron is eliminating 66 full-time positions, representing 38% of its workforce. As a result, the Company expects one-time cash expenditures of approximately $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and approximately $3 million in the first half of 2012. Geron expects to end 2011 with cash and investments in excess of $150 million.


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