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Geron Corporation Reports 2011 First Quarter Financial Results And Highlights

Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN) today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2011.

For the first quarter of 2011, the company reported operating revenues of $1.5 million and operating expenses of $25.9 million, compared to $918,000 and $17.4 million, respectively, for the comparable 2010 period. Net loss for the first quarter of 2011 was $24.4 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to $16.6 million, or $0.18 per share, for the comparable 2010 period. The company ended the quarter with $207.3 million in cash and investments.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2011 and 2010 included funding from collaboration agreements and royalty and license fee revenues under various agreements. Interest and other income for the first quarter of 2011 amounted to $296,000, compared to $202,000 for the comparable 2010 period.

Research and development expenses for the first quarter of 2011 were $16.8 million, compared to $13.5 million for the comparable 2010 period. The increase in research and development expenses reflected higher drug purchases and increased clinical trial expenses for initiation and enrollment of four oncology Phase 2 clinical trials of imetelstat and the Phase 1 clinical trial for GRNOPC1 in patients with spinal cord injury. The company expects research and development expenses to increase in the future with the continued enrollment in the imetelstat Phase 2 trials and the planned initiation of the GRN1005 Phase 2 clinical trials in the second half of 2011 in patients with brain metastases.

General and administrative expenses for the first quarter of 2011 were $9.1 million, compared to $3.9 million for the comparable 2010 period. The increase in general and administrative expenses reflects costs related to the management transition, primarily non-cash stock-based compensation expense, and higher legal costs for the financing-related class action and derivative litigation against the company. All such cases have now been voluntarily dismissed.

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