Geron Rises as Imetelstat Helps Against Myelofibrosis

Geron Corp. gained the most in more than a decade after the biotechnology company’s experimental drug for myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder, helped patients in a study.

Geron increased 45 percent to $5.21 at the close in New York, its biggest single-day advance since September 2003. The shares of the Menlo Park, California-based company have more than tripled this year.

In the 18-patient study evaluating Geron’s medicine imetelstat, 44 percent experienced clinical improvement, partial remission or complete remission, according to data posted today. That included four participants who had reversal of bone marrow fibrosis, or scarring. The study was run by the Mayo Clinic with funding from Geron.

“The efficacy data appears compelling and is certainly sufficient for progression into a Geron-sponsored Phase 2 study,” Charles Duncan, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., wrote today in a research note. He raised his price target for the shares to $10 from $6.

After a median follow-up of 3.2 months, 89 percent of patients remained on Geron’s therapy, according to the data. The study will be reported next month at the American Society of Hematology meeting in New Orleans.