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Geron Corporation Class Action Lawsuit

29 days left to seek lead plaintiff status

Case Summary

Company Name
Geron Corporation
Stock Symbol
GERN
Class Period
March 19, 2018 to September 26, 2018
Motion Deadline
March 23, 2020
Court
Northern District of California

On January 23, 2020, the Geron Corporation securities class action lawsuit was filed charging Geron and its Chief Executive Officer with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The Geron securities class action lawsuit was commenced in the Northern District of California on behalf of purchasers of Geron common stock between March 19, 2018 and September 26, 2018 (the “Class Period”) and is captioned Tollen v. Geron Corporation, et al., No. 20-cv-00547.

Geron is a biopharmaceutical company with one product candidate in development, a drug called imetelstat, which was intended to treat certain cancers that occur in bone marrow.  During the Class Period, Geron was engaged in a clinical study of imetelstat, known as the IMbark trial, for the treatment of patients with myelofibrosis.  Geron was developing imetelstat in partnership with Janssen Biotech Inc., a division of Johnson & Johnson. 

The Geron securities class action lawsuit alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information about the results of the IMbark trial.  Specifically, defendants misrepresented the results of the IMbark trial, choosing to affirmatively tout the purportedly positive results of one of fourteen secondary outcome measures, overall survival, while knowingly omitting the results of two primary endpoints, which the trial had already failed to achieve.  In addition, defendants touted the trial’s overall survival rate compared to purportedly “real world” patient outcomes in a 2016 Janssen study, which was misleading since it is impossible to fairly compare the IMbark study to other studies without knowing the baseline disease characteristics of the myelofibrosis patients enrolled in the study, which Geron refused to disclose.  As a consequence of these adverse facts, there was a significantly increased risk that Janssen would decline to continue its collaboration with Geron on developing imetelstat.  As a result of defendants’ misrepresentation and omissions, the price of Geron common stock was artificially inflated to more than $6 per share during the Class Period, and Geron’s CEO, defendant John Scarlett, was able to sell $83 million worth of his Geron stock at artificially inflated prices.

On March 27, 2018, Adam Feuerstein published an article on STAT News questioning defendant Scarlett’s statements made earlier that month regarding the IMbark study.  According to Feuerstein, Geron’s stock price had “more than tripled” since January, “with most of the gains coming in the past week after CEO John Scarlett suggested the drug” was “helping patients with the bone marrow disorder live longer.”  Feuerstein noted that “proof doesn’t exist” for Scarlett’s assertions and went on to enumerate the reasons why those assertions were false.  On this news, the price of Geron stock fell 29% over the next two days.

Then on September 27, 2018, Geron issued a press release stating that patients in the IMbark study had shown only a 10% spleen response rate, when 35% or more was required for success, and a 32% symptom response rate, when at least a 50% reduction in symptoms was required.  Geron also announced that Janssen had terminated its partnership with Geron for the development of imetelstat.  On this news, the price of Geron stock fell 62%, from a close of $6.23 on September 26, 2018 to a close of $2.31 per share the following day.

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 permits any investor who purchased Geron common stock during the Class Period to seek appointment as lead plaintiff in the Geron securities class action lawsuit.  A lead plaintiff will act on behalf of all other class members in directing the Geron securities class action lawsuit.  The lead plaintiff can select a law firm of its choice to litigate the Geron securities class action lawsuit.  An investor’s ability to share in any potential future recovery of the Geron securities class action lawsuit is not dependent upon serving as lead plaintiff.  If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff of the Geron securities class action lawsuit or have questions concerning your rights regarding the Geron securities class action lawsuit, please provide your information here or contact counsel, Brian E. Cochran of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at bcochran@rgrdlaw.com.  Lead plaintiff motions for the Geron securities class action lawsuit must be filed with the court no later than March 23, 2020.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP is one of the world’s leading law firms representing investors in securities class action litigation.  With 200 lawyers in 9 offices, Robbins Geller has obtained many of the largest securities class action recoveries in history.  For six consecutive years, ISS Securities Class Action Services has ranked the Firm in its annual SCAS Top 50 Report as one of the top law firms in the world in both amount recovered for shareholders and total number of class action settlements.  Robbins Geller attorneys have helped shape the securities laws and have recovered tens of billions of dollars on behalf of aggrieved victims.  Beyond securing financial recoveries for defrauded investors, Robbins Geller also specializes in implementing corporate governance reforms, helping to improve the financial markets for investors worldwide.  Robbins Geller attorneys are consistently recognized by courts, professional organizations and the media as leading lawyers in the industry.

Class Period: March 19, 2018 - September 26, 2018
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