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Thread: Geron sci trials to begin middle 2006

  1. #1
    Senior Member mikek's Avatar
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    Geron sci trials to begin middle 2006

    The ceo advised that trials will begin and government funding isn't necessary.The stock is up today and looks to be a very good investment.Being a stockholder, I wish it could assist in getting into a chronic trial when that happens.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Thanx for the input. Do you have any idea when, or even if, they will have a therapy for chronics?

    Geron is a top notch research firm, privately funded. Their investors want to see a return. And soon.

    They sent me a portfolio about a year and a half back. It was about 1.5 inches thick and musta' weighed about 5 pounds, seriously. Impressive.

  3. #3
    Geron is a big $$$ supporter of Hans Keirstead's work.

    Yes, ROI is definitely in their shareholder's eyes.

  4. #4
    Thanks for posting, Mike. Did they have a conference call today?

    -Steven
    ...oh we're not yet dead, to camelot we go

  5. #5
    Senior Member bill j.'s Avatar
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    The following is the first few paragraphs of an article in Science magazine, June 10, 2005 Vol. 308.
    ###################

    Shortly before Congressman James
    Langevin cast his vote last month to relax
    federal rules on funding of stem cell
    research, the Rhode Island Democrat told
    his colleagues, "I believe one day I will
    walk again." Langevin, who has
    been paralyzed since a gun accident
    at age 16, pleaded with his
    colleagues to vote with him.
    "Stem cell research gives us
    hope and a reason to believe. ...
    We have a historic opportunity
    to make a difference for millions
    of Americans."
    With impassioned pleas like
    this, high-stakes battles in Congress,
    and billions of private
    and state dollars pouring into
    research on human embryonic
    stem (hES) cells, it often seems
    their therapeutic applications
    must be just around the corner.
    But a careful parsing of the
    claims from even the strongest
    advocates reveals the caveat
    "someday."

    How soon that someday
    might arrive is far from clear.
    Scientists are nearly unanimous
    that the study of hES cells will
    illuminate human development
    and disease. But whether the
    cells will actually be used to
    cure patients like Langevin is
    less certain. Cell therapies are
    more complicated than drugs,
    and hES cells, which have the potential to
    become any cell type in the body, carry
    special risks.

    "The most sobering thing about [hES]
    cells is their power," says neuroscientist
    Clive Svendsen of the University of Wisconsin,
    Madison, who works with both
    fetal and embryonic stem cells. The
    extreme flexibility and capacity for growth
    characteristic of ES cells makes them ideal
    for producing large quantities of therapeutic
    cells to treat, say, diabetes or spinal cord
    injuries. But these same traits also increase
    the risk that renegade cells could, as they
    have in animal studies, cause unwanted
    side effects, ending up in the wrong place
    or even sparking cancerous growth. "You
    have to learn to control that power in the
    dish" before thinking about putting the
    cells into patients, says Svendsen.
    For that reason, most groups say they
    are at least five or, more likely, 10 years
    away from clinical trials. But one company
    is challenging that timeline. Geron in
    Menlo Park, California, says its animal
    studies suggest that stem cell therapy can
    be safe and might be effective for a select
    group of patients. The company hopes to
    start clinical trials of hES cells to treat
    spinal cord injuries as early as summer
    2006. Already, the company is in discussions
    with the Food and Drug Administration
    (FDA), which is attempting to set
    safety standards for the field. Potential
    treatments with human ES cells
    face the same difficulties as all
    cell therapies, notes Malcolm
    Moos of FDA's division of cellular
    and gene therapies: There
    are few standardized techniques
    to measure the purity or
    potency of a cell population
    that would be delivered to a
    patient.

    Most stem cell researchersview Geron's plans with hefty skepticism and caution that a
    premature rush to patients
    could seriously damage the
    already-controversial f ield.
    And it is far from clear
    whether FDA will allow the
    trial to proceed. But Geron,
    which funded the researchers
    who isolated the first hES cells
    in 1998, has several reasons to
    push ahead; the company holds
    a number of patents and exclusive
    licenses that give it more
    freedom-and more incent
    ive-to develop possible
    products from hES cells. And
    whatever the outcome, scientists
    agree, Geron's ambitious
    plans will offer a test case of
    the hurdles scientists will have to overcome
    to prove that hES therapies are both
    safe and effective.

    [This message was edited by Bill J. on 06-20-05 at 09:06 PM.]

  6. #6
    Here is another "Go West" article (June 2nd, 2005) of a market analyst about Geron at www.marketwatch.com:

    Embryonic stem cells

    Embryonic-stem-cell research has been capturing headlines since the presidential election, when it emerged as a so-called sleeper issue among many voters.

    Last month, a group of South Korean scientists became the latest headline grabbers when they announced success in creating human embryonic clones of patients in need of stem-cell transplants.
    The creation of cloned embryos for research purposes or to create new bodily tissues is called therapeutic cloning.

    While cloning humans for the purpose of reproduction is banned under U.S. law, therapeutic cloning is not. Several states, however, have passed laws barring therapeutic cloning.
    Because of federal funding restrictions, other states made the move to provide grants for embryonic-stem-cell research, including therapeutic cloning. The idea is to encourage both fledgling cures and emerging businesses.

    California is at the forefront of this effort. Last November, voters passed an ambitious state bond issue that will provide up to $3 billion in grants to researchers over the next 10 years.
    While most of the state funds would be channeled toward basic research at universities and foundations, analysts say stem-cell companies also should benefit, albeit indirectly.

    "It'll help all these companies, as far as the science gets advanced," said Monane.
    Added Benjamin: "When embryonic stem cells, as a field, moves forward, it's good for all the companies."

    One company that has already lined up to apply for grants is Worcester, Mass.-based ACT Holdings (ACTH: news, chart, profile) , better know as Advanced Cell Technology. The company, which recently became publicly traded "over the counter," has set up significant research operations in California to take advantage of the funding climate.

    "Therapeutic cloning is what we do and what we're focused on," said ACT Chief Executive William Caldwell. He added that the company is actively recruiting scientists in California for its efforts. Caldwell said ACT has conducted stem-cell research with animals and would make an announcement within 90 days as to how it plans to proceed with initiating human clinical trials.
    ACT has concentrated on stem-cell therapies to grow skin for burn and plastic-surgery patients, and to treat eye diseases such as macular degeneration. ACT is also looking at ways to treat blood cancers and cardiovascular damage, said Caldwell.


    Also in line to benefit from government funding is Geron Corp. (GERN: news, chart, profile) , long engaged in embryonic research.

    Unlike the others, Menlo Park, Calif.-based Geron also has an oncology-drug development program, which analysts say makes the stock a bit more resistant to the trading whims that often grip the rest of the subsector.

    "The reason Geron doesn't move as much is that it has a diversified portfolio," Monane said. According to Benjamin, while Geron's work is primarily preclinical, the company appears to have made progress in figuring how to "tell" embryonic stem cells which type of cell to become. The company also has created its own lines of stem cells that are free of all animal-cell contaminants, a common problem for researchers.

    Geron reportedly is furthest along in developing a therapy to treat spinal-cord injury. The company expects to apply for the regulatory green light to begin Phase I clinical trials later this year, said Monane.
    "Geron would benefit in particular from a lifting of the federal-funding ban," said Benjamin, "because then they could apply [soonest] for grants."

  7. #7
    Senior Member mikek's Avatar
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    My online portfolio with Smith Barney catches any news about any investment I own and I read it there,additionally my broker saw the ceo on CNBC news when making the announcement. I know Geron funds Dr. Kierstad's work and whatever he develops will be owned and licensed by Geron.

    I think they are much better bet than the Miami Project.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Geron Provides Update on Human Embryonic Stem Cell Programs at International Society for Stem Cell Research Annual Meeting



    MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 23, 2005--Geron Corporation (Nasdaq:GERN) announced today the presentation of studies which demonstrate significant advancement of Geron's programs to develop human embryonic stem cell (hESC) based products for drug development and therapeutic applications. In 12 presentations from Geron scientists and collaborators at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) annual meeting in San Francisco, progress on the derivation of new hESC lines, along with the differentiation, characterization, transplantation, and manufacture of cells relevant for drug development and therapeutic applications will be reported.

    Functional Characterization of Oligodendroglial Progenitor Cells

    In recent published studies, Geron's collaborator, Hans Keirstead, Ph.D. and his colleagues from the University of California, Irvine have shown that oligodendroglial progenitor cells derived from hESCs and transplanted into rodents with spinal cord injuries produced locomotor recovery and axonal remyelination. In these studies, the oligodendroglial progenitor cells enabled replacement of myelin sheaths that are lost after spinal cord injury. These myelin sheaths function to insulate neurons and promote efficient conduction of electrical pulses.

    In new studies being presented by Geron scientists at the ISSCR meeting, the hESC-derived oligodendroglial progenitors are shown to produce neurotrophic factors which can induce growth of axons, the portion of the neuron that acts as a conduit for impulse conduction. This study shows that exposure of rat sensory neurons to medium conditioned by the hESC-derived oligodendroglial progenitors increased the length of both small and large neurons. "These data suggest that the oligodendroglial progenitor cells derived from human embryonic stem cells induce axonal regeneration in sensory neurons," stated R. Scott Thies, Ph.D. Geron's associate director of neurobiology and lead author on the study. "These factors may contribute to the reparative function of these cells when transplanted into the injured spinal cord."

    More...

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