Shares in biotech small-cap Geron Corporation (GERN) gapped up over 100 percent to start Thursday after news that their treatment for the bone marrow disorder myelofibrosis, imelstat, showed significant results in a Mayo Clinic study. The stock’s early spike evened out as the day wore on, but it was still close to 55 percent by late afternoon.
Imelstat Shows Results
The 18-patient Mayo Clinic trial showed 44 percent of cases treated with imelstat experienced clinical improvement and/or partial or complete remission.
"The current study signifies the potential value of telomerase-based treatment strategies in MF and identifies imetelstat as an active drug in that regard," read the study's abstract. "The association between response and spliceosome mutations suggests a broader application for the drug in myeloid malignancies."
Geron On a Run
Geron’s stock has been on a solid run, almost quadrupling in value since the start of September. While there have been spikes, including a major bump in mid-October, the stock’s climb has generally been steady prior to Thursday. Analysts have been bullish during this period, and the stock’s been trading above its 200- and 50-day moving average since late August. What’s more, since early September the 20-day moving average appears to have functioned as a support level. However, much of this could have just been in anticipation of today’s news on imelstat.
Other companies working on myelofibrosis drugs seemed to be affected by the news of the Mayo Clinic study and Geron’s success. Cell Therapeutics (CTIC) , the maker of pacritinib, plunged over 4.5 percent. The Incyte Corporation (INCY) , maker of jakafi, was also off in early trading, gapping down 4.9 percent. The stock rallied, though, to post a gain of less than 0.5 percent.