Calvin B. Harley to Retire as Chief Scientific Officer of Geron
Continues as Senior Advisor to Company
MENLO PARK, Calif., September 8, 2009 - Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN) today announced that Calvin B. Harley, Ph.D., the company's chief scientific officer (CSO) for telomerase technologies, will retire on September 15, 2009. Dr. Harley joined Geron in 1993 and served as CSO since 1996. Dr. Harley will continue a relationship with Geron in an advisory capacity.
"Cal's numerous contributions to the company and the field have enabled Geron to advance the biology of telomeres and telomerase into drug discovery and development programs and into clinical trials," said Dr. Thomas B. Okarma, Geron's president and chief executive officer. "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with Cal over the years, and I am very pleased that he will continue to contribute to Geron as a consultant."
"I joined Geron to progress what was then the emerging field of telomere and telomerase biology towards clinical application in age-related diseases and cancer. During my 16 years at Geron, I am fortunate to have been able to do that," said Dr. Harley. "I have decided that now is the time to retire from my full-time position, but I am delighted to continue my involvement with the company in an advisory capacity."
Dr. Harley is a pioneer of telomere and telomerase biology. He was, along with academic collaborators and the team of scientists he led at Geron, instrumental in discovering, from observation to experimental proof, the link between telomere loss, human cell aging, and chronic disease and the key dynamic relationships between telomere biology and cancer.
Geron's pipeline of telomerase-based anti-cancer therapies includes the first telomerase inhibitor drug (imetelstat sodium - GRN163L) in clinical development, currently in six Phase I and Phase I/II clinical trials in different types of cancers, and a therapeutic vaccine targeting telomerase (GRNVAC1), currently in a Phase II clinical trial in acute myelogenous leukemia. The company is also researching small molecule compounds that transiently activate telomerase in senescent cells to restore cell function for the treatment of chronic degenerative diseases. Geron's intellectual property portfolio includes over 400 patents and patent applications related to telomerase worldwide.
Geron is developing first-in-class biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases, including spinal cord injury, heart failure and diabetes. The company is advancing an anti-cancer drug and a cancer vaccine that target the enzyme telomerase through multiple clinical trials in different cancers. For more information about Geron, visit www.geron.com.
Anna Krassowska, Ph.D.
Investor and Media Relations
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