Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

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Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by huntingonthebluffs » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:20 am

Part 1 of 3:

I apologize at the outset of this post(s) as I know from what is on my mind and notes that it will be long and quite likely boring to many. If you turn back here I wouldn’t blame you, as my attempts at trying to basically keep myself grounded in thought and possibilities of the Geron science and potential may go far afield. I hope there are a couple worthwhile thoughts here but I wouldn’t bet on it.

What is amazing to me on one level is understandable on another, but so many of the legitimate Geronites are becoming very crabby while at the same time the progress is so significant on many fronts that all contribute to the success of Imetelstat and the patients waiting in line for this drug. I believe the financials are going to flow as this winds it way. Also I personally believe there is no need to get our undies in a bundle regarding what is going on under the covers as it is likely on target at a minimum and while many of us are over invested, patience is the key here.. At the same time there is a cabal of negatives that seem to frequent, even rule at times, the boards that many of take time each day to view. They don’t help us with our frame of mind and have a set of comments and challenges that none of us can, them as well, because we don’t know. Here are some of the basher / short cabal positions and part and partial to their narrative which I suggest we all ignore the bait:
1. Geron’s stock price represents both managements ineptness and the science’s shortcomings
2. Geronites are shallow and don’t deal with the facts regarding the science or competition
3. The time to set up, recruit, complete, etc the CTs reflects incompetence
4. JNJ/Janssen gave a negative response to the CD because Imetelstat CTs failed to impress.
5. Geron receives so little respect in the press
6. JS and the BOD are incompetent, dishonest, etc.
7. Dilution is ahead of us along with bankruptcy
8. Whatever else…

I will not tackle the cabal positions above in order or at all, I think my thoughts in general touch on much of the basher / short cabal side as well as the pumpers among us. Actually, some of their points don’t deserve any of our attention. And in my opinion, neither benefits the cause; in fact all of it just cheapens what Geron is about and goes to show that there are practically infinite ways to be irrational. Among others, there is also the realistic, the contrarian, the positive and negative thinkers and I think they are different and come with a different purpose that the basher / pumper menagerie. I think it is also safe to say that most of us will rely heavily on what we would like to have happen in forming our opinion/prediction. So for the sake of my argument regarding who is who, I can separate each class of thinker from how they perceive the past and choose to apply their past understanding to the future of Geron / Imetelstat.

In my opinion, bashers and pumpers over utilize or make up selected parts of the past or very recent past, intentionally incorrectly to predict the future by the narrative they choose to construe. If you are not in either of those contingents then you tend to be open to the potential of future stated milestones and past accomplishments to humbly rationalize your narrative regarding the future. Even there, many of the positives, unfortunately like to nit-pick to demonstrate our balance.

So to start with the number one bash and challenge for many of us is that the effort/time/cost to get through the regulatory mesh is a Geron weakness. If you are in that quadrant, I think you might be categorically misguided. Even penicillin discovered in 1928 was not available as a drug until 1942 or so (14 years). So just relax and stay focused on the major hurdles and accomplishments envisioned ahead. While the challenges ahead are greater than those of 1942, Geron is up to the task.

We can legitimately be concerned about competition and the length of time to get through Geron’s CTs. However we should also balance those concerns against what we know about the science and the current day regulatory challenges and settings. Of course mistakes have been made as mistakes are in the natural course of learning and making the way forward so there we shouldn’t dwell as we don’t know a lot about what actually drove decisions and actions, only that they are being done by very smart / intelligent people and doing their very best. Things happen for a reason and I expect Geron’s agility is quite superior to their competition and I expect to see that as the process unfolds given their current corporate strategy and exemplary team on the front line.

Of course, the dark side can only think of tomorrow as just another yesterday and yesterday’s worst case at that. Maybe the question to ask is: is it more important to be sure about what is wrong about what is being said on various social media about Geron/Imetelstat than what is right? For example, from my perspective, the price of Geron stock appears to be based on something like the distance to Pluto divided by the number of telomeres in an old man. In other words, current stock price and future estimates given by analysts escape my understanding of a reasonable financial model. Did they use a basic straight line with a compounding factor over the next 12 months driven by a hand held calculator? Did they give an expected value to each milestone in the strategy? Is it just an estimate averaging the previous estimates? Could it be some form of average of the last 10 years of highs minus the average of the annual lows? Could it be based on CT costs versus ability to raise funding? Whatever it is, I doubt it is coming from a model with more than a couple variables and the bottom-line is they don’t have a clue and know they won’t be accountable as long as they all bunch together at some number higher than current.

Given the pps has so little linkage to reality, it is easy for the negative side to point to management, stock options, competition, cash in the bank etc. and predict impending doom. For me, to subscribe to those predictions is similar to predicting the day we will die, because we can point to the day we were born. While we can recall details about past events, results and even draw on a huge body of scientific research on Geron/Imetelstat to form our positive / negative perception, we still have to draw on our opinion because we just don’t know a lot. We certainly don’t know what “they” know on the inside, we don’t know what “they” don’t know and of course, what we don’t know that we don’t know. So we have the negative side, the analysts lost in space and our own opinions formed by reading between the lines and what we think happened (or not) previously over the last couple years to guide us on assessing the current Geron strategy and progress there in. So putting something coherent together on the current or future pps estimates we mostly just go on what we would like to happen.

Therefore what we say on these boards clearly states which side of the fence we are on and it is undeniable in my opinion and you are either with us or against us, pure and simple. And remember, true contrarians can and will say what is on their minds, positive and negative where a basher or pumper pretty much lives on one side of the fence leaving logic, facts and actual plans out of it.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by huntingonthebluffs » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:23 am

Part 2 of 3:

But then there is the science and what Geron is doing with it. I would differ strongly that most Geronites have not studied the science or competition at length and have assessed the possibilities. Certainly, none of us forget the dialogue about the disease modifying ability of Imetelstat, the reduction in the TB, the restoration of bone marrow, etc., but most of us go much deeper and are quite comfortable in what we do understand. Most were not just born again into the Geron circle of believers, we have been drawn in by the history and potential of the science and many of us have lost beloved family members and friends and know firsthand the struggle and scope of the demise of those suffering with hemo cancers experience. And while searching for answers, poured through reams of studies and reports, many on and the analysis of the medically astute who frequent ImetelChat and other forms of social media and articulate for laypersons like myself to understand how monumental this science will be when allowed into the light of day. Can many of us read an article or even a paragraph and understand it all without a dictionary or further study, for myself certainly not, but I think for most it is also unlikely. But those of us that are legitimately interested in the success or Geron / Imetelstat, several are capable of interpreting and explaining the science in a fair and understandable manner for the most part. Just knowing we don’t know what we don’t know can help us understand there are many activities pushing the science ahead not on our radar. We don’t need to be insulted and demeaned from angles or narratives never to be vetted, the majority of which are baseless threats for sinister reasons anyway. Yes competition does exist, is it better, of course not! And if you haven’t done your homework, it is understandable that one could be “swayed” by someone in the hemo field working with the competition and saying they have a better science or drug, they don’t. Dr.J. Shay can say whatever he wants and in 5 years after various studies and CTs, maybe he can get an audience. In the meantime, Imetelstat and Geron will pave the way for him to come in second along with the rest.

So many milestones were achieved in 2019 including the strong and deeply talented team assembled to carry Imetelstat eventually to the finish line on two important diseases, along with total recovery of the IP and CT results. It is difficult for anyone regardless of perspective to legitimately and honestly fashion an encompassing negative narrative as some spin today. So if we rely on the effort and time to get through the regulatory mesh as a Geron weakness we are categorically misguided. While we can be concerned regarding competition and the length of time to get through Geron’s MDS P3 CT, we must balance those concerns against what we know about the science involved and the strategy being stated. And don’t forget the journey began with the CT on MF. I see many significant comments by senior management giving us hints of a roadmap becoming clearer for Imetelstat regarding treatment of MF.

We could argue that the CEO/COB is old and tired, or doesn’t care about the shareholder, does not find ways to hype his companies drug candidates, etc. but we have to balance that against knowing he is highly intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced in the opportunities and corporate way forward. I personally also like that he is motivated, honest, conservative, shrewd, patient and determined to see Imetelstat through to approval. And yes, I realize we are all limited in over confidence here as he is quite private and measured at the CCs, analyst and annual meetings.
We can be concerned about his and other execs pay and incentives, yet we need to balance that against our research that shows their comp is in-line and very cost effective given a considerable component is based on options, most of which are still underwater.

So where are Dr.’s Tefferi, Raza, etc., does anyone definitively know other than themselves or close confidants? Probably not but knowing how Dr. Scarlett does things, he likely does not let those outside the inner circle comment or speculate under the guise of “official Geron views” . And while these people are highly respected they have their own axes, many of them influenced by “other arrangements” not likely in Geron’s best interests. Also, given the legal frenzy we are currently observing and the facts that they are no longer current on the full scope of results, strategy, competition, etc. it would have muted or negative impact. Either way, JS has his reasons for who or who not is on the team and I for one, have confidence in his choices.

So now, thinking about the past, especially the watershed between 2014-2018 versus 2019-2022, there is literally no symmetry from where we have been to where Geron is going. The course has changed and while the past has its lessons and pull, it is the past and tomorrow is not just another slice of yesterday. Geron has passed out of the quagmire of the collaboration with JNJ/Janssen. Those of us that recognize the difference, and not overly burdened by our past investment actions, are maintaining and even taking on more risk of Geron stock ownership. To us, that know the past and the current are night and day, clearly recognize that past is not prologue in Geron’s future.

While I don’t know or subscribe that Geron’s future will parallel PCYC’s ascent, I also know that it will not be similar to its past. I have very few, if any, intellectual vices such as predicting the future other than in general terms. I don’t judge the progress or lack of it in the absence of adequate evidence, yet I realize that I and we all have biases.

Of course the negatives, think backwards and live almost exclusively in the past, since to them, past is prologue and it is a more convenient place to support their opinions. We of a positive slant use the current events, plans, etc. to support our views. I do not try to be a monotonous skeptic however I do have a healthy fear of being wrong and the problems that will result in our financials and medical futures.

I do view the current cost of Geron stock to reflect limited risk from here and as the stock sold short is decreasing, I suspect the short sellers think likewise. Never the less still very significant to me given the size of my position, yet in my opinion, being aggressive at this price level is acceptable to me given the wildly huge return potential. Geron represents an outsized position in my investments so while I am excited for new investors able to build a position at this $1./share price, I personally am only gradually adding as more and more constructive information comes to light. I suspect that most of us are grateful for our willingness to invest in Geron especially at a time when a potential positive Black Swan is revealing itself to us. For me, I am spending time getting prepared to increase / extend my investment in Geron rather than predicting what / when things will dramatically unfold for all to see. Uncertainties are out of our control. Especially things like CoVd19, yet these uncertainties, given what we do know, could provide a greater opportunity to increase our speculative risk / reward return equation. I have also been looking at insurance now at a reasonably low cost to help me sleep at night. I am not considering exiting any part of my Geron position now or anytime in the next 2-3 years as I do believe we are on the cusp of a positive Black Swan and certainly much larger than the negative BS (black swan) that occurred on 9/27/2018.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by huntingonthebluffs » Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:25 am

Part 3 of 3:

Now we should all come back to face our confirmation biases, especially where our fortunes are at stake. I think a significant part of our CB flows from our nature versus the data, results or ideas presented. However, in regards to our Geron investments, I believe most of us will ultimately end up being winners, hopefully wildly so. Yet not so much because of our nature and inclination to the power and scope of this science, rather because we are now closing in on Imetelstat’s expected approval and potential rapid replacement of SOC drugs treated as kings while providing very limited, if any, benefits over a short run in the fight against hemo cancers. All the while many, maybe most investors, analysts, negatives, competitors etc. can’t comprehend this as it doesn’t fit their narrative and that I believe is all to our amazing advantage. I believe the inevitable has finally become imminent and now is the time to focus on what could likely happen here! Getting wrapped up in petty conversation posts is not in our best interest, actually never has been.

So again, you are either with us or against us, otherwise why are you in this space at all. I don’t think aggressively building an exemplary team is a bluff on Dr. Scarlett’s part, rather it was done in complete confidence of the future and where it will take us based on the results and green lights already given by the FDA/EUA regarding CTs and expected course of actions as this moves forward.

I don’t think our investments in Geron will fit into the confines of the standard bell curve as the BS unfolds; standard deviations won’t be measureable or able to cope with anything that is off the charts like I expect this to be. While the BS can go either way, in my opinion, it won’t, can’t be at the expense of the longs. Why, because given the level of current share price and the lineup of ever potent events and leeway for surprises given the “official schedule’s”. Yes I believe the setup is planned for many reasons, not just the pps, by our fearless leader, CEO and COB. Dr. Scarlett, in my opinion, is the consummate subtle gamesman and is setting the table in all our favors.

As background on forming a view on what could happen as we move forward, one might find value in becoming acquainted with Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s literary works. I have found his book titled “The Black Swan” very helpful in my investing and study of the world around me. Some of the thoughts I shared here relate to Taleb’s work. I have not meant to overuse what it is best said in words from this genius so I highly recommend reading his book. However, I have in a very modest way attempt to apply my own thoughts and spin within Taleb’s context as I find appropriate. So when I take thoughts from my notes from reading the book, I am only trying to relate to the Geron journey we have all been on for so long. I have a lot more thoughts on what I have learned from his book but mercifully will maybe save for another day or not.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by bucbeard » Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:31 pm

As always, thank you for your thoughtful contribution to our cause and journey through the years. You have had my respect the entire way.

I look forward to hopefully meeting up with you on Turtle Island some day, comfortably conversing about life in front of a spectacular sunset, or better yet, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells while hunting on the bluffs.

Much peace HOTB...the journey continues.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by biopearl123 » Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:31 pm

Hi Hunt, thank you for your contributions (as always) to this board. I generally agree with your assessment and feel the potential for Geron has been long underestimated and that were coming into exciting times. While I have agreed with your black swan theory in general, I am concerned that the actual black swan (an unexpected occurrence that impacts a stock positively or negatively) is actually the COVID-19 virus itself for the following reasons. I bring this up only as cautionary thoughts even as I was preparing to uncork champagne. Note the Dr. Scarlett uses the past tense "had" in his last letter. Everything was going wonderfully and MDS was very much on track. Then the virus. So the potential negative impact should not be underestimated. The MF/MDS patient population is imunocomprised by definition and at risk for higher mortality (fewer patients to treat and enroll in studies, thus more may die from the virus than the general population.) Thus fewer patients to enroll. This also means study patients will be less likely to venture forth for as yet unproven treatments (even if promising) and study centers will be less likely to enthusiastically embrace ongoing studies while their attention is directed elsewhere. My thoughts on the potential impact of the virus on the blood supply are discussed separately. I fear that the virus has caused the rising black swan of Geron to mutate into a ravenous black bird of prey but perhaps only temporarily. I do think we will see good news from the FDA re MF soon but everything now must be taken in the context of the impact of the virus on virtually all aspects of our daily lives and the lives of the patient population that could benefit from Imetelstat. Hope for better viral drugs, hope for a good vaccine, in the meantime when social distancing ends the virus still "lives", if you can call that form of biology alive, and it will still be out there waiting for susceptible hosts. Much has changed and we need to adapt. I wish Geron and all of us were operating in a COVID free world but we are not. Stay healthy, bp

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by cheng_ho » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:20 pm

Thanks for your thoughts, Huntington. Please take the time to read Taleb's book "Fooled By Randomness"... it is an excellent antidote to confirmation bias and conspiracy theory, from a demonstrably successful investor. An investor speaking from a record of success rather than a record of riding Geron down to the delisting level while refusing to change his views...

There are no reptile aliens. And refusing to keep up on the telomerase-inhibitor combination trials being run by ABBV, ARGX, CNST, and many others, is not a way to make a GERN investment work out any better.

Let's hope that we actually do get a "surprise" from Rizo... maybe she's talking to MAIA behind Scarlett's back.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by huntingonthebluffs » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:28 am

Thanks bucbeard for your kind response as always. I certainly would feel much more at home on the bluffs in hunting gear than in a lounge chair on Turtle Island but who knows what the impending may bring. And either would be a welcome venue for meeting up with you somewhere in the future.

And thanks biopearl123 for chiming in with your knowledge and measure, your insights are always appreciated as your attention to fine details reflects in all your assessments and helps all of us stay grounded.

First, regarding the black swan (BS) discussion, certainly the tidal wave of the cv was and continues to be a massive BS and orders of magnitude beyond what the Geron / Imetelstat BS will be. None the less, in my opinion, Geron / Imetelstat is also an impending positive BS, as the science of measuring uncertainties and risk have not been present for a long time in this space. In fact, in the negatives and analysts defense, practically nothing on the surface today and in the past points to a BS in this instance, yet we have done the homework to realize that potential is about to become reality while no one is looking. Essentially no one has the ability to predict a BS here, certainly myself included, yet it seems clear that the normal course of drug development many subscribe to cannot predict what is about to happen. So being intrigued regarding the characteristics of a BS and we only seeing the tip of the iceberg, I will drone on here a ways before discussing my views on the delays.

JNJ/Janssen execs thought they knew, but seems very unlikely now. Imetelstat appears to be accumulating a huge and extra ordinary cumulative impact in the cancer drug world of which the impacts are not likely to be estimated using the bell curve and standard deviations or normal statistical analysis.

I believe confirmation bias (CB) and BSs are very different and CB actually can and often does lead to BSs, just not what one expected. And here is part of the plot, as Telab instructs, there are points on the map that we and many others are using to some degree in our assessments. However, looking at a map, it is easily discerned that there is a lot of area between the major points on the map for which we have no visibility. We often are led to believe that the clearly defined points in the public plan are most of or even all there is. But we should all here know by now, especially with Dr. Scarlett controlling the message flow, it isn’t and likely by a wide margin. It is here that I believe more humility is of value as I suspect the gap between what we know vs what we don’t know is embarrassingly wide and as Teleb would council, is where a true BS is produced.

Nothing I personally say here is scientific or supported with undeniable facts, nor will I try to solve anyone’s insomnia by recanting what others have said or written. I just say that each person’s assessments following Dr. Scarlett’s CCs and analyst presentations are a mirror of their collective knowledge and earned experience and reflect heavily on their interpretation, opinion and intentions regarding posts. Therefore, given so much potential with Imetelstat and so few opportunities to apply it, we are left to a very unpredictable flow of information, results and applicability of Imelelstat, its MOA, etc. I personally believe we will come to find, likely only in looking back, the uses and success of Imetelstat (and its enhance versions) will be exponential.

With so many hugely concentrated potential uses of TI, it can overwhelm some of our confirmation governors, while yet so many are devils advocates only professing the worst or average outcomes. One or two approvals by the FDA / EUA can provide a launch pad for what seemingly so few can see. So again, to Teleb’s view “I am very aggressive when I can gain exposure to BSs”. The Geron risk is low to moderate in my opinion in that we can see practically all the paths that will lead to failure, these are known and in my opinion, equally unlikely. And as Teleb would say: our tendency is to be very rational until it comes to a BS. We take what we know a little (maybe a lot) too seriously and become complacent regarding the likelihood of surprises, even BSs. Following the straight line is CB, both positive and negative slants. Are we using what we know to support our CB or what we don’t know? Does it matter, as both have their risks. And then there are the lies, fraud, deception even ignorance we have to weed out, maybe not so successfully.

Looking in the rearview mirror part of the time can be useful, but fixating there will over emphasize history. The negative slant has an inclination to use the past, the ships wake, the rearview mirror, last year’s baseball stats, etc. to explain the current and future trajectory or their narrative. Sometimes they can get it right. However, rest assured that JS and team, i.e. those in the captain’s chair and with boots on the ground are only using the newest test results, the newest strategy, the newest plans, the newest extensions of thought all changing as we speak to meet the challenges in front of them, including the cv. The rest of us are really just bystanders, the patients, investors, negative cast, etc. In other words, we are not playing with a full deck and as always, some act as if they don’t know their limitations, but we on this board should know.

JS does not need to respond to every question.. By now we should know he very conservatively wants to rely on the key actions driven by science, team, CTs and FDA / EUA to achieve their destiny. I don’t doubt for a second, if it comes to the point of needing to “talk it up” so to speak for whatever reason, he certainly has the wherewithal to do that given the Geron arsenal and the team he assembled.

Lastly, I generally look at perfection as only a goal promoted by the negatives as a lead to discrediting any statement short of perfection. Yet most positives are looking for the reality of progress, not perfection. In the real world, we can generally subscribe to the motto that anything worthwhile takes longer and costs more than planned. That brings us to the principle that a corporate plan is basically a forward-looking statement. An astute corporate leader will build into the plan what he/she believes is a safe level of time and cost to keep expectations in check and allow for a reasonable amount of overruns by the various uncertainties out of their control. This is not a cake walk, to ground your expectations read the Geron forward looking statements in their presentations and SEC filings. I have no way of knowing if the cv realistically adds 6 months to the timeline or not. Geron, the FDA/EUA, etc. on the other hand don’t know either, however, they know a lot that we don’t and they will make the right calls regardless of what we think they are doing to bring this science in as best they can.

The art of deception and the element of surprise, something my dad always said were the key ingredients of a successful baseball pitcher, regardless of their athletic talents. We can all decide for ourselves if JS is an Ace or not but for me, he has the repertoire of an Ace whether or not you like his maddening nuances, and all great pitchers have them. I believe he needs and will use his and his team’s talents to successfully navigate the uncertainties alongside the various forces out there to bring the trophy home at the end of the season. I’m sure there will be some mistakes but there will be many great performances, mostly out of sight that we won’t see or even hear about, either way it isn’t likely to be a smooth ride, so make your wager and buckle up as our team is coming up to bat.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by Gwikley » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:34 am

Long read , but inspiring. This stock has manifested a whole new meaning to the word patience.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by huntingonthebluffs » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:52 pm

Yes, patience is hard in this space and time, as well as elsewhere for some of us, myself included. And I don’t mean to be overly philosophical with these posts and realize with so many people, patients and investors alike, struggling with their interest and participation in Geron / Imetelstat has been a long and painful road and depending your situation that could be an understatement. There are a lot of analogies for this, like the one about someone literally dying of thirst, while the room next door is filled with water bottles. While I’m not certain of the metrics here, I think getting from an NME to approval takes a median of 8-9 years in this day and age and while it could be faster, it could be much longer and I think a first in class tends to be on the longer side of the median as does oncology. So if we get “there” sometime in the next 1-3 years, it would not be considered an outlier. Still while the days and weeks even a few months are tolerable, the quarters and years can fray us all around the edges. The JNJ/Janssen debacle was a monkey wrench in the timeline and I personally think the Geron team can do a much better job from here than JNJ would because of their focus. In fairness we might also say that there were many positives associated with the JNJ /Janssen partnership, just that effectively/efficiently moving towards approval, lifting the hope of patients and supporting our investments weren’t on that list.

So now looking at the landscape, with the Team Geron and their associated motivations and incentives, I believe they will work aggressively to push through to approval regardless of the challenges. The MDS CT published goal is 170 patients being enrolled across at least 70-80 sites currently recruiting, some maybe a lot of them putting CT activity on hold now temporarily, however if there is any wiggle room to move the ball forward, I believe they will find it and take advantage to the maximum. The patients are desperately in need of the opportunity to use Imetelstat, and stay at home orders for people in need have limits and work arounds. We have all heard about the downside in increasing suicides, violence and drug addiction and unavailability of life saving treatments participates in that class of risk. Our society is rapidly realizing the many downsides and looking for a more granular balance and expecting more rationale regulatory oversight given the need versus the risks.

So to bolster the patience theme I would point towards going back to the BS thoughts and prepping for that eventuality as a better way to pass the time till answers arrive. Geron’s future is impossible to predict based on its previous 30 years of existence. From here it cannot simply be refined down to mediocre or average based on the past as past is not the future anymore, it is much more complicated now and can’t be simplified. I think it is similar to what Teleb says, regarding a certain watershed point, the events going forward are likely to be rare compared to Geron’s history and extremely consequential and only predictable by those prepared with the knowledge of the science and working with the team in the boiler room. So I think when JS shows confidence and makes positive references to how things are progressing in his maddingly conservative way, we should take note. That doesn’t mean the lid comes off tomorrow or at the end of 2Q20, etc. because as Teleb teaches, positive BSs take time to show their affect, while negative ones happen very quickly as it is much easier to destroy than build. I believe our doubting of Geron’s successful outcome will give way to an obvious truth underpinned by science, over a decade old and still shining brightly. So I try not to tunnel in on a few well defined sources of uncertainty or clarity to prove our rationale. Unfortunately complicated situations do not cohabitate easily with clarity and much of Geron’s potential is pushed down by the context of its past, totally obscuring the potential right in front of us.

I think with Geron at this stage in the processes, it would be dangerous to bet against success using the bell curve or past history as a guide. And it would be equally dangerous to wager against Imetelstat’s approval, even multiple approvals, having a strong ex-US partner and Geron exceeding a stock price of $100 or some other equally unthinkable move up from here over the next few years. Because without strong evidence to the contrary, that level of confirmation bias may actually be on the right side of the flip. However, still we should conjecture or where possible totally disconfirm what could prevent Geron / Imetelstat from these stellar achievements. The JNJ negative CD, limited effect on solid tumors as a single agent, limited success in curing late stage hemo cancers at least by itself, the management or BOD ineptness, financial staying power, etc. don’t for me measure up to the long list of substantial positives to date and those lining up in the next few months to years. While many uncertainties lie ahead for Geron that none of us have any control over, we can partially rely on the fact that Geron leadership is clearly becoming more confident and robust by the day and interestingly we truly don’t know all the reasons for the changes.

Biotech businesses face many uncertainties, many are positive leaning, yet nothing is perfect if you sift it all out. Honestly, to me, nothing refuting JS’s ability or efforts are convincing and appear as mostly ad hominin attacks as he is at the helm, rather than focusing on the complexity and difficult business framework which Geron has and continues to have to work in. This is not to say the trail has been error free and 20-20 hindsight has proven many of us wrong when we thought the strategy and results were right as well as when we thought the opposite. However in spite of our assessments the path forward has continued to display amazingly resilient progress and potential for both patients and investors. And while not to most of us on ImetelChat, this path is likely to provide success and I personally expect significant success especially in comparison to the expectation of the unknowing, unbelieving and negative community.

Clearly, the process has not been one of simply success or failure, but this is of course a first in class drug pounding its way through the business and regulatory netting, puzzles, schemes, traps, etc. so we can expect progress to come in fits and starts. We also know it must dazzle on each step of the way to approval being the new kid on the block trying to break into the game. It’s like the minor league baseball player who the scouts can tell is clearly one to achieve great major league fame if he can weather all the rungs on the ladder, while the rest of the audience just sees a minor leaguer scratching  and spitting his way up the ladder with all the rest and only betting on him once he is firmly planted in the ML dugout. Most can see the future star’s athletic ability, speed, strength and demeanor but the scouts also see his heart, mind and soul, his persistence and impatience and wiliness to learn and accept advice from the wise while being true to himself, confident in what he can aspire. Like the aspiring minor league baseball player, nothing about our Geron journey fits into the symmetry of our life or investing successes / failures. So most of what we predict is error prone and doesn’t fit w/I our general risk / reward experiences, yet we are like the pro baseball scouts, we know what we have here and will hold on through the rough spots.

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Re: Patience and balance are virtues needed for the Geron journey

Post by cheng_ho » Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:05 pm

HI Andrew. I keep getting posts bounced with comments about "illegal or pirated software"... what does that mean? I'm no hacker. TIA

Good luck on the upcoming AA meeting. Let's hope the FDA at least doesn't make things worse.

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