Geron to Halt Brain-cancer Drug Development
Geron Corp. said it has stopped developing its treatment for brain cancers, and will cut its work force and replace its chief financial officer.
The pharmaceutical company said it plans to reduce its work force by 40% to 64 full-time positions. It expects to lower its annual cash operating expenses from about $65 million in 2012 to about $33 million in 2013--which includes nonrecurring costs of about $3 million associated with the restructuring and about $3 million for the discontinuation of clinical trials.
As part of the restructuring, CFO Graham Cooper will be leaving to pursue other opportunities, the company said. He will be replaced by Olivia Bloom, currently vice president of finance, chief accounting officer and treasurer, effective Friday.
As it discontinues the development of brain-cancer treatment GRN1005, Geron will focus on developing imetelstat, its telomerase inhibitor, in hematologic myeloid malignancies and in patients with solid tumors that have short telomeres.
The decision to discontinue development of GRN1005 was made after the company completed a planned interim analysis for GRABM-B, the company's Phase 2 study in patients with brain metastases arising from breast cancer. This analysis showed that there were no confirmed intra-cranial responses among the first 30 evaluable patients in the trial.
In October, Geron reported that its third-quarter net loss narrowed on significantly higher licence fees and royalties.
Shares, which were halted after hours Monday, closed at $1.48. The stock was down 46% over the past three months.
Source: Geron via MarketWatch