Staff and Wire Reports
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 13:37
Shares of Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN) are trading a little higher today, but still lower than they were last month following news that longtime President and CEO Thomas Okarma has stepped down. He will be replaced by Company CFO David Greenwood and Director Dr. Hoyoung Huh.
Alexander E. Barkas, Ph.D., the chairman of the board, who moves to the role of lead independent director said in a prepared statement:
“We are grateful to Tom for his 13 years of scientific leadership, as reflected in the company’s development of multiple product candidates that are in preclinical and clinical testing today,” said Dr. Barkas. “Our objective now is to intensify the focus of our business plan to fully resource the development programs and clinical trials. We want to accomplish this objective in a manner that maintains alignment of the company’s goals with shareholder interests.”
It is reported that Okarma will remain with the company as a consultant, but details are not yet available as to what he will be doing or getting paid in that capacity. Okarma also leaves the board of GERN.
The stock has held up nicely considering how abrupt the news was.
Some are reporting that the move “reflects the company’s progression into mid-stage clinical development of multiple therapeutic product candidates.”
Geron is has candidates in Phase II trials in different cancers and in Phase I for differentiated human embryonic stem cell treatment for spinal cord injury.
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