Geron's fully diluted market cap today is approaching $500 million, which is what Gilead Sciences ( GILD) paid to acquire YM BioSciences and its myelofibrosis drug CYT387 (since renamed momelotinib.) The difference is that momelotinib was ready to enter phase III studies when Gilead picked it up. Geron's imetelstat isn't there yet and we have no real clue if the drug's efficacy and safety are comparable to competing myelofibrosis drugs. If momelotinib isn't more effective or safer than Incyte's ( INCY) Jakafi, for example, Geron will have a tough time justifying the expense of moving the drug forward.
$NPSP~ Hey @adamfeuerstein great call on this one. Because of your insight, i sold 10k shares @ $11/shr. Thks!!!— Jeff Jorgenson (@jjjorgen) September 25, 2013You're right, the concerns I raised about insurers pushing back on NPS Pharmaceuticals ( NPSP) due to the high cost of Gattex were wrong. NPS has done very well with the Gattex launch and the stock has reacted accordingly: NPSP data by YCharts
I still believe the risk of insurers putting more reimbursement restrictions on high-priced orphan drugs exists, but I admit evidence of a clampdown to date is scant and I was clearly wrong about NPS Pharma. To their credit, my colleagues at TheStreet Jim Cramer and David Peltier have both been enthusiastic supporters of NPS this year. -- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston. Follow Adam Feuerstein on Twitter.