BOSTON, Mass. (
) -- Readers have been generous with their emails lately. Thank you! And keep your questions coming. I can't answer every email I receive, but I decided to open the Biotech Stock Mailbag early this week in an attempt to whittle down the backlog.
Check back again Friday for the regularly scheduled Mailbag. One more thing: I'm taking a much-needed vacation, so the Mailbag will be on a short hiatus until the first week in September.
Let's get started with an email from Robert B., who writes, "I was wondering what your reaction is (if any) to the FDA's hold on
(GERN - Get Report)
spinal cord therapy. I own some, and not sure how to take the news."
The first thing I did after reading Tuesday's announcement was laugh because the delays and missteps in Geron's over-hyped embryonic stem cell trial for severe spinal cord injuries are pretty much working out the way I thought they would.
Ever notice how Geron does a great job of heralding the prospect of scientific achievements and breakthroughs, yet never seems to actually deliver on its promises?
In this case, Geron promised to enroll the first paralyzed patients into its stem cell trial during the summer. That announcement was made in January. Yet August is rolling toward a hot and humid finish here in the Northeast, and the study is nowhere close to starting. Last month, the company told investors that car airbags were partly to blame for the delay. (Airbags protect drivers and passengers in accidents, making it hard to find traffic accident victims with paralysis severe enough to be eligible for the clinical trial, or so Geron CEO Tom Okarma said on his company's quarterly conference call.)