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Geron Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2017 Financial Results

MENLO PARK, Calif., Nov. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Geron Corporation (Nasdaq:GERN) today reported financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017.

For the third quarter of 2017, the company reported a net loss of $6.9 million, or $0.04 per share, compared to $3.6 million, or $0.02 per share, for the comparable 2016 period. Net loss for the first nine months of 2017 was $20.5 million, or $0.13 per share, compared to $21.1 million, or $0.13 per share, for the comparable 2016 period. The company ended the third quarter of 2017 with $112.7 million in cash and investments.

Revenues for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 were $163,000 and $874,000, respectively, compared to $5.1 million and $6.1 million for the comparable 2016 periods. Revenues for the three and nine month periods ending September 30, 2016 included license fee revenue of $5.0 million in connection with an upfront payment under a license agreement signed in September 2016 with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for certain rights to specialized oligonucleotide backbone chemistry and novel amidates.

Total operating expenses for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 were $7.4 million and $22.3 million, respectively, compared to $9.0 million and $27.9 million for the comparable 2016 periods. Research and development expenses for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 were $2.6 million and $8.5 million, respectively, compared to $4.3 million and $13.9 million for the comparable 2016 periods. The decrease in research and development expenses for the three and nine month periods ending September 30, 2017, compared to the same periods in 2016, primarily reflects lower costs for the company’s proportionate share of clinical development expenses under the imetelstat collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc. and reduced personnel related expenses. General and administrative expenses for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 were $4.8 million and $13.8 million, respectively, compared to $4.7 million and $14.0 million for the comparable 2016 periods. The increase in general and administrative expenses for the three-month period ending September 30, 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, primarily reflects higher non-cash stock-based compensation expense. The decrease in general and administrative expenses for the nine-month period ending September 30, 2017, compared to the same period in 2016, primarily reflects lower consulting and legal costs, partially offset by higher non-cash stock-based compensation expense.

Interest and other income for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2017 was $363,000 and $1.0 million, respectively, compared to $322,000 and $871,000 for the comparable 2016 periods. The increase in interest and other income for the three and nine month periods ending September 30, 2017, compared to the same periods in 2016, primarily reflects higher yields on the company’s marketable securities portfolio.

Conference Call and Webcast

At 4:30 p.m. ET on November 1, 2017, Geron’s management will host a conference call to discuss the company’s third quarter results as well as recent events.

Participants can access the conference call live via telephone dialing 877-303-9139 (U.S.); 760-536-5195 (international). The conference ID is 1056465. A live audio-only webcast is also available through the Investors section of the company’s website at www.geron.com or at https://edge.media-server.com/m6/p/25tyxgih. The audio webcast of the conference call will be available for replay approximately one hour following the live broadcast through December 1, 2017.

About Geron

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

Financial table follows.

GERON CORPORATION
CONDENSED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(UNAUDITED)
 
  Three Months Ended Nine Months Ended
  September 30,
  September 30,
(In thousands, except share and per share data) 2017
  2016
  2017
  2016
         
Revenues:        
License fees and royalties $ 163     $ 5,108     $ 874     $ 6,068  
                 
Operating expenses:                
Research and development   2,637       4,319       8,510       13,927  
General and administrative   4,770          4,666          13,833          14,006  
Total operating expenses   7,407          8,985          22,343          27,933  
Loss from operations   (7,244 )     (3,877 )     (21,469 )     (21,865 )
                 
Interest and other income   363       322       1,041       871  
Interest and other expense   (18 )        (21 )        (59 )        (61 )
Net loss $ (6,899 )   $   (3,576 )   $    (20,487 )   $    (21,055 )
                             
Basic and diluted net loss per share:                
Net loss per share $ (0.04 )   $ (0.02 )   $ (0.13 )   $ (0.13 )
Shares used in computing net loss per share   159,216,642        159,140,254       159,186,853       159,011,741  


CONDENSED BALANCE SHEETS
 
  September 30, December 31,
(In thousands) 2017 2016
  (Unaudited) (Note 1)
Current assets:    
Cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash $ 10,172 $ 13,078
Current marketable securities   86,991   102,035
Other current assets   1,400   999
Total current assets   98,563   116,112
         
Noncurrent marketable securities   15,560   13,954
Property and equipment, net   121   183
  $ 114,244 $ 130,249
         
Current liabilities $ 5,970 $ 7,869
Stockholders’ equity   108,274   122,380
  $ 114,244 $ 130,249

Note 1:  Derived from audited financial statements included in the company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. 

CONTACT:

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

Geron Corporation
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