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INTRO Here's my semi-annual exercise to see if I remember why I own the stocks I own, and so I can check back and see if their stories have changed. I post in case it helps others too.

GERN (market cap $0.52B)
Geron is a very advanced biotech developing treatments for critical illnesses and ailments through powerful and sometimes controversial technologies: stem cells, nuclear transfer, telomerase. They are into the clinical trial phase, though as with any innovative and powerful approach they are under intense media, public, and federal scrutiny. Stem cells are finally being used to treat spinal cord injuries, though still only for patients in clinical trials. Depending on point of view, they have the majority of mammalian (though not human) cloning patents. The telomerase approach to treating cancer has great potential because it targets the interrupted cell death that is a defining element of cancer (from my understanding); ironically, being able to control cell death also opens the long term possibility to keep cells from dying prematurely by altering the very same technology.

The company is making nice progress and seems competent or better at the technology, market, public perception, and federal regulatory issues. I think their biggest problem is cash, and even more so for them than other biotechs because their clinical trial programs will probably go on years longer and be scrutinized more intensely than most, ala Dendreon. I know of no significant competitor.

Logically, it will probably be years before FDA approvals and GAAP profits. Subjectively, the stock may react to emotional reactions to clinical trials. Helping an accident victim walk again, shrinking cancer tumors without chemo or radiation, growing a new organ for someone who can't find a donor, could move the stock up without regard to current financial data.

DISCLOSURE LTBH since 1999 and continuing to hold because I may have enough stock if they succeed, and may have time to buy more at these low prices as they make progress and if I have discretionary cash (which I don't - let me check my lottery tickets) or if I have to rebalance my portfolio (like if DNDN was bought out for $120).
(I've also collected links to the other discussion boards and my other stocks over on my blog
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