Geron Corp. : Geron Updates Imetelstat Development Strategy, Including Progress of Investigator-Sponsored Study in

    Geron Corp. : Geron Updates Imetelstat Development Strategy, Including
          Progress of Investigator-Sponsored Study in Myelofibrosis

     Company to Discontinue Discovery Research Program and Close Research
Laboratory Facility to Focus Resources on Clinical Development in Hematologic
                                 Malignancies

                     2013 First Quarter Financial Results



       Conference Call Scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 26

Menlo Park, CA,April 25, 2013- Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN) today
announced updates to the development strategy for imetelstat, its
first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, including the status of the
investigator-sponsored study at Mayo Clinic in myelofibrosis (MF). Initial
progress of the first cohort of patients in the MF study has been reported to
Geron by the investigator, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi. Enrollment of the first cohort
of patients in the study was completed at the end of March and the
pre-specified criteria in the clinical protocol enabling expanded enrollment
was met. The company also announced that it is discontinuing its discovery
research and companion diagnostics programs, as well as closing its research
laboratory facility and reducing its workforce from 64 to 44 positions. While
there will be cost savings in 2013 resulting from these actions, the company
does not expect a significant adjustment to the current operating budget for
2013 due to restructuring charges of approximately $1.9 million to be incurred
in 2013. The discontinued programs and activities were expected to cost up to
$19 million during the periods 2014 through 2015. In addition, the company
plans to focus its resources on hematologic myeloid malignancies and does not
plan to advance clinical development of imetelstat in non-small cell lung
cancer (NSCLC) with short telomeres or in essential thrombocythemia (ET).

"The compelling proof-of-concept data from our trial of imetelstat in ET and
the progress made in the current myelofibrosis study at Mayo Clinic support
Geron's focus on the development of imetelstat in hematologic myeloid
malignancies. Diseases such as myelofibrosis represent the greatest
value-creating opportunity for the company because many patients with these
diseases have significant unmet medical needs and imetelstat has the potential
to be a disease-modifying treatment," said John A. Scarlett, M.D., Geron's
President and Chief Executive Officer. "The actions announced today allow us
to concentrate our financial and operational resources solely on this
development strategy."

Updates to Imetelstat Development Strategy

Investigator-Sponsored Study in Myelofibrosis.Based on data from the trial of
imetelstat in patients with ET, in November 2012, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi at Mayo
Clinic initiated an investigator-sponsored study to evaluate the safety and
efficacy of imetelstat in patients with MF and to determine an appropriate
dose and schedule for further evaluation. The study is an open-label trial in
intermediate or high-risk patients with primary or secondary MF. The primary
endpoint is overall response rate, which is defined by the proportion of
patients who are classified as responders having achieved either a clinical
improvement, partial remission, or complete remission according to the
International Working Group for Myelofibrosis Research and Treatment (IWG-MRT)
criteria. Secondary endpoints include reduction of spleen size, transfusion
independence, safety and tolerability.

Dr. Tefferi has communicated to Geron that enrollment of the first cohort of
11 patients in the study was completed at the end of March, that the
pre-specified criteria in the clinical protocol of at least two responders in
the first 11 patients was met to enable expanded enrollment, and that a
protocol amendment to include a second patient cohort in which the dose
intensity of imetelstat is increased to levels similar to those used in the ET
trial was recently approved by the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board.
Geron expects data from the investigator-sponsored study, if positive, to
inform the design of a company-sponsored multi-center trial in MF.

Essential Thrombocythemia.The company's rationale for studying imetelstat in
ET was to provide proof-of-concept for further development in a broader range
of hematologic myeloid malignancies. Although high hematologic and molecular
response rates led the company to explore the feasibility of further
development of imetelstat in ET, medical experts advised the company that ET
patients are adequately served by existing therapies and recommended that the
company pursue other hematologic myeloid malignancies, such as MF, where there
is a clear unmet medical need for a product that could be disease-modifying.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.Final results from the randomized Phase 2 trial of
imetelstat as maintenance therapy following platinum-based induction
chemotherapy in patients with NSCLC were presented at the American Association
for Cancer Research (AACR) 2013 annual meeting in April. While the data for
the overall study population suggested a trend towards an overall survival
benefit for patients receiving imetelstat, it showed only a minimal impact on
progression-free survival. These results were not sufficiently compelling to
warrant advancing clinical development of imetelstat in NSCLC. The company
believes that further clinical development of imetelstat in NSCLC would
require the use of molecular characteristics, such as tumor telomere length,
to identify relevant sub-groups in which imetelstat may have clinically
meaningful activity. An updated analysis using more mature clinical data and a
retest of patient tumor samples with a refined, prospective assay to measure
telomere length did not show a significant correlation between tumor telomere
length and treatment effect with imetelstat. Based on these results presented
at AACR, the company has no plans to pursue further development of imetelstat
in solid tumors. Geron is also discontinuing its internal translational
research activities to develop a diagnostic assay for measuring tumor telomere
length.

Discovery Research.With the focus on imetelstat in hematologic myeloid
malignancies, the company is discontinuing its internal discovery research
program. The decision was based on a review of the timelines and costs to
declare a potential IND candidate, as well as intellectual property
protection, competition and chance of success, in context of the relative
opportunity for imetelstat in hematologic myeloid malignancies.

Management Transition

Stephen M. Kelsey, M.D., F.R.C.P., F.R.C.Path., Executive Vice President,
Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer, will be leaving the company
on May 3, 2013.

First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

For the first quarter of 2013, the company reported operating revenues of
$765,000 and operating expenses of $12.8 million, compared to $1.3 million and
$20.2 million, respectively, for the comparable 2012 period. Net loss for the
first quarter of 2013 was $11.9 million, or $0.09 per share, compared to $18.7
million, or $0.15 per share, for the comparable 2012 period. The company ended
the first quarter of 2013 with $79.8 million in cash and investments.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2013 and 2012 included royalty and license
fee revenues under various agreements. Interest and other income for the first
quarter of 2013 was $81,000, compared to $176,000 for the comparable 2012
period. 

Research and development expenses for the first quarter of 2013 were $8.0
million, compared to $15.1 million for the comparable 2012 period. The
decrease in research and development expenses primarily reflected reduced
personnel-related costs, lower costs for the manufacturing of imetelstat and
GRN1005 drug product and reduced clinical trial expenses with the wind-down of
the imetelstat trials in metastatic breast cancer and advanced non-small cell
lung cancer and GRN1005 trials in patients with brain metastases.

General and administrative expenses for the first quarter of 2013 were $4.8
million, compared to $5.1 million for the comparable 2012 period. The decrease
in general and administrativeexpenses primarily reflected a decline in
personnel-related costs associated with employment separations of certain
members of senior management.

Non-cash operating expenses were approximately $1.6 million and $2.3 million
for the first quarter of 2013 and 2012, respectively, which primarily included
stock-based compensation and depreciation.

Conference Call

At 8:30 a.m. EDT on April 26, 2013,Geron's management will host a conference
call to discuss the company's first quarter results and imetelstat development
strategy updates.

Participants can access the conference call via telephone by dialing
866-953-6860 (U.S.); 617-399-3484 (international). The passcode is 44015814. A
live audio-only webcast is also available
athttp://edge.media-server.com/m/p/8dyb9dcp/lan/en. The audio webcast of the
conference call will be available for replay approximately one hour following
the live broadcast through May 25, 2013.

About Geron

Geron is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a
first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, imetelstat, in hematologic myeloid
malignancies. For more information about Geron, visit www.geron.com.

Use of Forward-Looking Statements

Except for the historical information contained herein, this press release
contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "safe harbor"
provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors
are cautioned that statements in this press release regarding Geron's plans or
expectations for or of: (a) the receipt of or dates to obtain or present data
or other results from any clinical trials, including the
investigator-sponsored study in myelofibrosis; (b) clinical development plans
or success of imetelstat, including imetelstat possibly having applicability
for the treatment of any other hematologic myeloid malignancies, including
myelofibrosis; and (c) expecting no change to the 2013 operating budget,
incurring restructuring charges of approximately $1.9 million in 2013 and
avoiding costs of up to approximately $19 million for the periods 2014 through
2015, all as a result of discontinuing the discovery research and companion
diagnostics programs and closing the research laboratory facility, constitute
forward-looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties
that can cause actual results to differ materially from those in such
forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties, include, without
limitation: (a) regarding the receipt of or dates for the availability of data
or other results - delays in enrollment, delays caused by institutional review
boards or regulatory agencies, shortage of supply, dependence on clinical
trial collaborators and safety issues; (b) regarding clinical development
plans or success of imetelstat, including imetelstat possibly having
applicability for the treatment of other hematologic myeloid malignancies,
including myelofibrosis and positive safety and efficacy data from the
investigator-sponsored study in myelofibrosis and other clinical trials,
including the ET clinical trial - those risks and uncertainties inherent in
the development of potential therapeutic products, including without
limitation, results from the ET trial may not mean that imetelstat has
applicability for the treatment of any other hematologic myeloid malignancies,
including myelofibrosis, technical and scientific challenges, limitations on
freedom to operate arising from intellectual property of others and the
protection of Geron's intellectual property rights; and (c) regarding
financial expectations - unanticipated expenses or charges may occur as a
result of the restructuring, or if litigation were to occur. Additional
information on the above risks and uncertainties (a)-(c) and other risks,
uncertainties and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially
from those in the forward-looking statements are contained in Geron's periodic
reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading
"Risk Factors," including Geron's annual report on Form 10-K for the year
endedDecember 31, 2012. Undue reliance should not be placed on
forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made, and
the facts and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements may
change. Except as required by law, Geron disclaims any obligation to update
these forward-looking statements to reflect future information, events or
circumstances.

CONTACT:

Anna Krassowska, Ph.D.
Investor and Media Relations
650-473-7765
investor@geron.com
media@geron.com

Financial table follows.

                              GERON CORPORATION
               CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
                                 (UNAUDITED)

                                                  THREE MONTHS ENDED
                                                       MARCH 31,
(In thousands, except share and per            2013               2012
share data)
License fees and royalties                $    765     $    1,254
Operating expenses:
 Research and development                    7,999           15,107
 General and administrative                4,751         5,065
Total operating expenses                   12,750         20,172
Loss from operations                       (11,985)         (18,918)
Unrealized gain on derivatives, net  
                                                    25               26
Interest and other income                          81              176
Interest and other expense                  (18)         (23)
Net loss                                   $  (11,897)       $  (18,739)
Basic and diluted net loss per share    $    (0.09)  $    (0.15)
Shares used in computing basic and
diluted net loss per share                  127,982,931       126,372,846

                    CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

                                           MARCH 31,         DECEMBER 31,
(In thousands)                               2013                2012
                                          (Unaudited)          (Note 1)
Current assets:
Cash, restricted cash and cash
equivalents                             $    16,299    $    22,857
Marketable securities                       63,534         73,472
Other current assets                    1,743         2,088
Total current assets                        81,576          98,417
Property and equipment, net                    866            974
Deposits and other assets                    410           410
                                        $    82,852    $    99,801
Current liabilities                   $     6,793     $    14,148
Stockholders' equity                       76,059        85,653
                                       $    82,852    $    99,801

Note 1:     Derived from audited financial statements included in the
company's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012.

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