Geron Secures Up To $ 75 Million Loan Facility
FOSTER CITY, Calif .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN), an advanced clinical biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has entered into a loan facility of up to $ 75 million with Hercules Capital, Inc. (NYSE: HTGC) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The loan facility provides the Company with access to non-dilutive financial resources to support imetelstat’s development program, as well as working capital and general corporate objectives.
“This debt financing strengthens our balance sheet and provides additional financial flexibility as our imetelstat program progresses with two Phase 3 clinical trials enabling registration – the ongoing IMerge trial in low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes and the planned trial. in refractory myelofibrosis, ”said Olivia K. Bloom, Chief Financial Officer. “We look forward to working with Hercules and SVB in the future as we include non-dilutive capital in our funding strategy. ”
The loan facility is available for Geron in three installments. The Company received $ 25 million under the first tranche at closing, with the remaining $ 10 million available until June 15, 2021. The second tranche of an additional $ 15 million is available for Geron in 2021, subject to the completion of certain clinical steps. The remaining $ 25 million of the third tranche is available to the Company until the end of 2022, and subject to lender approval.
Imetelstat is a new first class telomerase inhibitor owned exclusively by Geron and developed in malignant myeloid hematologic disease. Early clinical data suggest that imetelstat may have disease modifying activity through apoptosis of malignant stem and progenitor cells, allowing potential recovery of normal hematopoiesis. Geron’s imetelstat development program includes two registration studies, IMerge, an ongoing phase 2/3 clinical trial in low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and a planned phase 3 clinical trial in myelofibrosis refractory (MF) which is expected to be open for patient screening and enrollment in the first quarter of 2021. Imetelstat has received Fast Track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with non-del MDS (5q) at low risk who are refractory or resistant to an erythropoiesis stimulating agent and for patients with intermediate or high risk FM whose disease has relapsed after or is refractory to treatment with a janus kinase inhibitor (JAK) .
Geron is an advanced-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and potential commercialization of a first-class telomerase inhibitor, imetelstat, in malignant myeloid hematologic disease. For more information on Géron, visit www.geron.com.
Use of forward-looking statements
Except for historical information contained herein, this press release contains forward-looking statements made in accordance with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such statements include , without limitation, those relating to: (i) that imetelstat may have disease modifying activity; (ii) that Geron will achieve in 2021 the milestones required to enable it to borrow an additional $ 15 million; (iii) that the planned phase 3 clinical trial in refractory MF will be open for screening and recruitment during the first quarter of 2021; (iv) that the second tranche of $ 15 million is subject to the achievement of certain clinical milestones; and (v) other statements which are not historical facts constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties relating to: (a) whether the current or evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting global economic and financial disruption will have a material impact and unfavorable on the business and commercial prospects of Geron, its financial situation and the future of imetelstat; (b) whether Geron overcomes all potential delays and other negative impacts caused by the current or evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and overcomes all clinical, safety, efficacy, technical, scientific, intellectual property challenges , manufacturing and regulatory in order to meet the schedule for the opening of the Phase 3 clinical trial in FM in the first quarter of 2021, and the planned milestones; (c) whether regulatory authorities allow continued development of imetelstat in a timely manner, or not at all, without any clinical suspension; (d) if imetelstat has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials; e) whether future efficacy or safety results could render the benefit / risk profile of imetelstat unacceptable; (f) whether imetelstat does demonstrate disease modifying activity in patients; (g) Geron’s need to raise substantial capital in order to complete the development and commercialization of imetelstat, in particular to meet all deadlines and planned milestones; (h) whether the Company is able to achieve the clinical milestones required to be eligible for the second tranche of $ 15 million; and (i) if there are failures or delays in manufacturing sufficient quantities of imetelstat or other clinical trial materials in a timely manner, whether due to the current or evolving effects of the pandemic of COVID-19 or otherwise. Additional information on the above risks and uncertainties and on additional risks, uncertainties and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those of forward-looking statements is contained in Geron’s periodic files and reports filed with the Company. Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in such filings and reports, including Geron’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020 and future Geron filings and reports. Forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made, should not be placed undue reliance on, and the facts and assumptions underlying 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.