Other Stem Cell Players Ready To Fill Void Left By Geron
by: M. E. Garza November 16, 2011 | includes: ACTC.OB, ASTM, GERN, PSTI, SVFC.PK

Shares of stem cell therapy pioneer Geron Corp. (GERN) plunged Tuesday morning after the company said it would abandon stem cell research because of the high costs and commercial uncertainties for the field. Other players pushing ahead with more efficient technologies.

Geron announced on Monday that it would stop enrolling patients in its study of a stem cell-based treatment for spinal cord injury, the first stem cell trial approved in the U.S. The company is seeking a buyer for its stem cell program and announced plans to lay off 66 of its 175 employees. Company executives said Geron would focus its resources on developing two mid-stage cancer drugs.

Wall Street analysts had seen Geron as the undisputed leader in stem cell therapies, thanks to a powerful research and intellectual property position and the firm helped finance researchers at the University of Wisconsin who first isolated human embryonic stem cells in 1998. Despite many controversies, there was much hope that embryonic stem cells (early-stage cells capable of morphing into any of the more than 220 cell types in the human body) would emerge as an FDA approved treatment to replace or repair damaged tissue from ailments such as heart disease, Parkinson's, stroke and more.