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No. of Recommendations: 10
"I'll grant you that some scientific advisory board members never show up at meetings, merely collecting stock for lending their name to a company. But the SAB for Geron is simply not to be believed. Gunter Blobel, Nobel Laureate this year. Jerry Shay and Leonard Hayflick of the Shay-Hayflick "cells divide 50 times" limit. David Botstein, chairman of the Genetics Department at Stanford and a wonderfully funny man. (Just heard him speak at the Genome Tri-Conference in San Francisco this week.) Eric Lander, head of the Whitehead Institute for Genome Research at MIT. Tom Cech, Nobel Laureate for creating ribozymes. John Gearhart, Mr. Stem Cells at Johns Hopkins. And on and on. You simply cannot name a biotech company with a more amazing list of SAB members. If you nuked one of Geron's SAB meetings, you'd take out a very large chunk of the genomics braintrust in the U.S."

Geron's future consists of numerous unanswered questions. The consensus has concluded that they will have no "product" for five or so years (if at all). I don't necessarily disagree. Nonetheless, the future is just that UNCERTAIN. I believe that the next few years is going to bring a plethora of new medical information (led by Celera's work).

Hugh17 has made an interesting analogy be stating:
"Some investors and traders that we have talked to have naively come to the conclusion that the current Biotechnology boom will come to an abrupt end when the mapping of the human genome is complete. This idea is simply ludicrous. I'd like to once again compare the mapping of the human genome to the construction of the periodic table of elements. Mendeleyev's periodic table of elements, created in 1869, grouped elements together in sections showing the same valence electron patterns. The table went through constant refinements and eventually made possible the commercial exploitation of and capitalization on chemical reactions. The periodic table of elements continues to act as the road map of chemical engineering and is the fountain-head of the chemical industy which produces 70,000+ products with sales of over 400B dollars."

With this new information I believe that it is safe to say that the medical community will have an incredible new insights into many aspects of disease, aging, etc. With that said, I want a good portion of my investments to be within biotech. Which companies? Those with the smartest people who I believe have the best chance at capitalizing on this new information.

"Geron's research always appears in the top peer-reviewed journals, like Science and Nature. They had back-to-back articles in Nature Genetics last fall. (November? Can't remember.) They've got Jim Watson on their board, for criminey's sake, and while he's not always right about everything --- he had to get Rosalind Franklin's help to figure out the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick and furthermore Jim was out of charity with Craig Venter for quite a while there --- he's abut as close as you come to scientific royalty this side of the Atlantic. ('Cept for Sydney Brenner and that's another story.....) Jim ran the Human Genome Project when it was floundering in the early 90's, for heaven't sake."

"I am excited about the stem cell work going on Geron. The company is the first-mover in this area. It's got enormous respect and an amazing scientific advisory board. This is serious stuff. And it's not limited to one approach for curing a specific disease, but rather is a general approach that could find practical and profitable outlets in any number of ways. However, it is still absolutely a risky line of work. Geron's going to have to do a lot of basic work on this for years before it can come anywhere near to being realized, and of course even that is not certain. It may just be too early; we may not know enough to make this work at all. But what keeps me holding long is that the company is solid scientifically and the promise is just phenomenal. And as long as investors like this company, I like it as an investment. I'm watching and waiting and holding."

Perhaps I am a bit naïve/optimistic but I am by no means blind. I see the risk but I also see the potential. As a result, I will hold onto my Geron shares and see what develops.
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