Geron Announces New Board Leadership Structure
CEO John A. Scarlett Appointed Chairman
Karin Eastham Appointed Lead Independent Director
MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN) today announced changes to the leadership structure of the Company’s Board of Directors. For personal reasons, effective December 26, 2018, Hoyoung Huh, M.D., Ph.D., has resigned from the Board, including his roles as Chairman of the Board and as a member of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Dr. Huh has served as Chairman of the Board since September 2011, and as a member of the Board since May 2010. Dr. Huh’s resignation is not due to any disagreement on matters relating to the Company’s future prospects, operations, policies or practices.
“Although I am resigning as a board member from all my public companies, including Geron, to pursue several personal objectives, I am optimistic about imetelstat’s promising future in hematologic myeloid malignancies as it moves into Phase 3 clinical development and potential commercialization,” said Dr. Huh. The Company plans to commence the Phase 3 portion of its IMerge clinical trial in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes by mid-year 2019.
“We are very grateful to Hoyoung for his long service to Geron’s Board, where he has provided insightful strategic leadership, as well as strong support for the Company’s programs and development initiatives,” said John A. Scarlett, Geron’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Effective December 27, 2018, the Board has appointed John A. Scarlett, M.D., to serve as Chairman of the Board, in addition to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Also effective December 27, 2018, the Board has appointed Karin Eastham, who has served on Geron’s Board since 2009, to serve as Lead Independent Director for the Board. Ms. Eastham will also retain her roles as Chairperson of the Company’s Audit Committee and a member of the Compensation Committee. As Lead Independent Director, Ms. Eastham will provide active leadership on behalf of the independent directors of the Board.
Geron is a clinical stage 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 www.geron.com.
Use of Forward-Looking Statements
Except for the historical information contained herein, this press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such statements, include, without limitation, those regarding plans that the Phase 3 portion of IMerge will commence by mid-year 2019 and other statements that are not historical facts, constitute forward-looking statements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties, include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties related to: (i) whether regulatory authorities permit the further development of imetelstat on a timely basis, or at all, to enable patient screening and enrollment of the Phase 3 portion of IMerge to commence by mid-year 2019; (ii) whether imetelstat is safe and efficacious, and whether any past or future efficacy or safety results may cause the benefit-risk profile of imetelstat to become unacceptable; and (iii) whether the transition of the imetelstat program from Janssen Biotech, Inc. to the Company proceeds on a timely basis to enable the Phase 3 portion of IMerge to commence by mid-year 2019. Additional information on the above risks and uncertainties and additional risks, uncertainties and factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are contained in Geron’s periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading “Risk Factors,” including Geron’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2018. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made, and the facts and assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements may change. Except as required by law, Geron disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future information, events or circumstances.