Geron Starts Phase 3 Clinical Trial in Lower Risk Myelodysplastic Syndromes

MENLO PARK, CA, USA I August 08, 2019 I Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN) today announced the opening of patient screening and enrollment for the Phase 3 portion of IMerge to evaluate imetelstat, a first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

“The start of the Phase 3 portion of IMerge is a significant milestone for Geron and imetelstat,” said John A. Scarlett, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are hopeful that the Phase 3 will confirm the encouraging results from the Phase 2 portion, and that imetelstat could become a much-needed treatment alternative for patients with lower risk MDS.”

IMerge is a two-part Phase 2/3 clinical trial of imetelstat in transfusion dependent patients with lower risk MDS who are relapsed after or refractory to erythroid stimulating agents (ESAs). The Phase 3 portion is planned to enroll approximately 170 patients in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to test the hypothesis that imetelstat improves the rate of red blood cell transfusion independence (TI). The trial is planned to be conducted at multiple medical centers globally, including North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The primary efficacy endpoint is 8-week TI rate, which is defined as the proportion of patients achieving transfusion independence during any consecutive eight weeks since entry into the trial. Key secondary endpoints include the rate of transfusion independence lasting at least 24 weeks, or 24-week TI rate, durability of transfusion independence and the amount and relative change in transfusions.

Many key aspects from the Phase 2 portion of IMerge remain the same for the Phase 3 portion. A target patient population of non-del(5q) lower risk MDS patients who are naïve to treatment with hypomethylating agents (HMAs) and lenalidomide was identified from the Phase 2 portion, and will be enrolled in the Phase 3. In addition, the primary and secondary endpoints, the dose and schedule of imetelstat administration and many of the clinical sites remain the same as in the Phase 2. Recently reported Phase 2 data highlighted the meaningful and durable transfusion independence, disease-modifying activity, and efficacy responses across MDS patient subgroups potentially achievable with imetelstat treatment.

Based upon current planning assumptions, Geron expects top-line results for the IMerge Phase 3 trial to be available by mid-year 2022.

To learn more about IMerge and whether the study is enrolling patients in your area, please visit

About Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of diverse blood disorders that develop because bone marrow cells do not mature into healthy blood cells. Many patients develop chronic anemia, the predominant clinical problem in lower risk MDS, and become dependent on red blood cell transfusions. There are approximately 60,000 people living with the disease in the United States.

About Imetelstat

Imetelstat is a novel, first-in-class telomerase inhibitor exclusively owned by Geron and being developed in hematologic myeloid malignancies. Early clinical data suggest imetelstat may have disease-modifying activity through the suppression of malignant progenitor cell clone proliferation, which allows potential recovery of normal hematopoiesis. Ongoing clinical studies of imetelstat consist of IMerge, a Phase 2/3 trial in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and IMbark, a Phase 2 trial in Intermediate-2 or High-risk myelofibrosis. Imetelstat has been granted Fast Track designation by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients with transfusion dependent anemia due to non-del(5q) lower risk MDS who are refractory or resistant to an erythroid stimulating agent.

About Geron

Geron is a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and potential commercialization of a first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, imetelstat, in hematologic myeloid malignancies. For more information about Geron, visit


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