Shares of biotech outfit

Geron

(GERN) - Get Report

were climbing in premarket trading after the company said it received a patent that triggers a milestone payment from a licensee of its technology.

The company didn't disclose the amount of the milestone payment.

The patent covers the promoter that regulates expression of the human telomerase reverse transcriptase gene. Geron had licensed the promoter to Genetic Therapy, a unit of

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Novartis

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, for use in developing viruses that are designed to fight cancer cells.

Cell Genesys

(CEGE)

recently acquired the rights to the Genetic Therapy product portfolio and intellectual property relating to oncolytic viruses, including the promoter licensed from Geron.

Shares of Geron were gaining 86 cents, or 12%, to $8.26 in Instinet premarket trading.