Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Geron Corporation

This an ugly chart of Geron Corporation. Geron (GERN)is a biotech company that has products in current clinical trials that target various types of cancer. What is interesting about one of the drugs that they are working on is they are binding chemotherapy agents to proteins to allow them to cross the blood-brain-barrier(GRN1005). Having recently helped a family member battle cancer, one of the worst scenarios is when a cancer tumor metastasizes to the brain. Currently the treatment for this is radiation. This treatment is brutal, and usually coincides with chemotherapy for treatment for the primary tumor site. This one-two punch is usually a really heavy burden on the patient, and really sucks what ever energy they have. Brain radiation is especially tough, the fatigue and disorientation can make life significantly challenging even when the treatment is working. The idea of having a drug that could cross the blood-brain-barrier could be a significant breakthrough,as treatment could coincide with regular chemotherapy without needing the daily brain radiation treatments.

The active chemotherapy agent in GRN1005 is Paclitaxel. This is an already known agent that is used, so the known side effects are known to oncology field. Using this drug would not be like a total unknown, as it is widely used without the peptide that would allow it to cross the blood-brain-barrier. A drug my family member was on that really had positive results was Abraxane. This was Paclitaxel bound to the human protein Albumin. This Abraxan drug was developed by Abraxis Bioscience which was taken over by Celgene.

Does all of this mean Geron is going to be higher next week? No it doesn't. Its products are currently in phase 2 trials, so it will be more than a couple years before these drugs are on the market. Recently the company was in the news for leaving the stemcell/spinal injury trials it was doing. This was not as big a market as the oncology field. They decided to focus their resources on its oncology product development. Times are tough and focusing on a more defined profitable market was needed to keep the company going in a healthy manner.

This is a link to a description of their other oncology products in development.

List of Drugs in Development(GRNOPC1 discontinued)



Product Product Description Disease Treatment Development Stage Patient Enrollment Status


Imetelstat Telomerase Inhibitor Non-Small Cell Lung Phase 2 Trial Open


(GRN163L) Cancer (NSCLC)


Breast Cancer Phase 2 Trial Open


Multiple Myeloma Phase 2 Trial Open


Essential Phase 2 Trial Open




GRN1005 Peptide-Conjugated Brain Metastases from Phase 2 Trial Planned to open in


Paclitaxel Breast Cancer fourth quarter 2011


Brain Metastases from Phase 2 Trial Planned to open in


NSCLC fourth quarter 2011


GRNOPC1 Oligodendrocyte Spinal Cord Injury Phase 1 Trial Open


Progenitor Cells

Dow Jones Industrial Average 1915-2011

This is a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average from 1915 through current 2011. The line in the center of the chart represents the consolidation period after the bull market move from 1949 to 1965. This 16 year rally was followed by consolidation from 1965 through 1983. We are now in a similar pattern following the bull market move from 1983 through 1999. This 16 year rally will be followed by further consolidation. It will take time for the ebb and flow of psychological highs and lows to work out before a new bull move MIGHT happen. If the consolidation lasts like the one before it, this would make a possible time frame for a break out to happen in 2015-2017.

This doesn't mean it is impossible to make money in the market. It just means that it is not a market where tons of stocks are breaking out and you can just buy anything. It is a range bound market that requires more action and better research to make decent returns. Once a range is defined, it can be traded until it proves it is broken. In the 1970s the market was not great, but many fortunes and "market wizards" were made them. It just requires a different discipline that trading in bull markets.

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