Geron rises on imetelstat blood disorder study

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Geron Corp. traded higher Monday after the company reported early clinical trial results for its drug imetelstat as a treatment for a blood platelet disorder.

Geron said 100 percent of patients responded to the drug, and most patients who had a specific gene mutation responded to the drug. The results come from 14 patients with essential thrombocytopenia who were not helped by other treatments or could not tolerate the side effects of those treatments.

Essential thrombocytopenia is a blood disorder caused by bone marrow disease. Patients have elevated levels of blood platelets, increasing the risk of blood clots and other problems.

Geron said the results are taken from an ongoing mid-stage clinical trial.

The company's shares rose 27 cents, or 25.5 percent, to $1.33 in afternoon trading. Shares are down 11 percent in the year to date.

In September Geron said imetelstat did not succeed in studies that tested it as a treatment for breast cancer and lung cancer. Earlier this month, the Menlo Park, Calif., company said it was ending development of another cancer drug to focus on imetelstat as a treatment for blood disorders like essential thrombocytopenia. The company then said it would soon report promising data from a study.