Dallas, Texas 01/28/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Development stage drug maker Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) saw its market valuation plummet by a huge 15.3 percent during trading on 27th January. The investor sell off in this $610 million market capped firm occurred on the back of update it provided in the form of SEC filings on its ongoing “Myelofibrosis IST” clinical trials.
The firm announced yesterday that lead investigator, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi of Mayo Clinic who has been conducting clinical trials for its target drug “Myelofibrosis IST” has decided to close the ongoing trail for new patient enrolment. The ongoing investigations has close to 79 patients enrolled and will continue to receive “imetelstat treatment and be followed under the Myelofibrosis IST protocol.”
Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) in its update to SEC has indicated that status of the 79 patient enrolments as follows, “ We believe that approximately 79 patients have been enrolled in the Myelofibrosis IST, including nine patients with blast-phase myelofibrosis and nine patients with refractory anemia with ringed sideroblasts (“RARS”), a subpopulation of myelodysplastic syndromes, and that approximately 20 patients have discontinued from the study since its inception”. It is this troubling news that the trail will no longer enrol new patients and the fact that close to 30 percent of enrolments have opted out, which has resulted in the sell-off in the stock.
It is pertinent to note here that in December last year, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi had presented efficacy data for 22 patients and safety data for 33 patients and based on these findings, Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN) had announced the road map to commence “company sponsored, multi-center, Phase 2 clinical trial of imetelstat in patients with myelofibrosis in the first half of 2014.”
Trying to play down the impact of yesterday’s decision not to enrol more patients to the trials, the drug maker has indicated that the total patients left in the clinical trails are adequate enough for the investigator to gather additional data which can be used to support the further development of the test drug Myelofibrosis IST.