Company

Bank

Analyst

Coverage

Opinion

Wk chg

3/14 cls

Geron Corp. (NASDAQ:GERN)

MLV

Graig Suvannavejh

Downgrade

Hold (from buy)

-60%

$1.83

Piper Jaffray

Charles Duncan

Downgrade

Neutral (from overweight)

Suvannavejh also lowered his target to $2 from $9 after FDA placed a full clinical hold on company-sponsored trials of imetelstat (GRN163L) due to potential liver toxicity issues (see B26). The hold will affect a Phase II trial for essential thrombocythemia (ET)/polycythemia vera (PV) and a Phase II trial for multiple myeloma (MM). Suvannavejh said FDA's choice to implement a full hold instead of a partial hold throws into serious question how long it might take Geron to resolve the issue. He pushed out his first year revenue timeline for imetelstat in myelofibrosis to 2019 from 2018. Imetelstat is an oligonucleotide that competitively inhibits telomerase activity.