Geron Appoints Biopharma Veteran John F. McDonald to Board of Directors


Geron Corporation (Nasdaq: GERN), a late-stage clinical biopharmaceutical company, today announced the appointment of John F. McDonald as an independent member of its Board of Directors, effective September 7, 2022.

“With his three decades in the biopharmaceutical industry across business development and investment and corporate strategy, John is a highly respected and seasoned R&D executive with valuable pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience. We enthusiastically welcome him to the Board,” said John A. Scarlett, M.D., Geron's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe John’s expertise will add commercial and strategic perspectives in guiding our objectives to advance imetelstat towards potential registration and commercialization.”

“I am delighted to join Geron’s Board at this exciting time, as the company nears top-line results in lower risk MDS in early January 2023,” said John F. McDonald. “In my career, I have seen a variety of ways that companies can strategically evolve their businesses, and I look forward to contributing to Geron’s future growth and success as the company brings the potential for disease modification with imetelstat to patients with hematologic malignancies.”

Currently, Mr. McDonald serves as Corporate Vice President, Global R&D Business Development, for Novo Nordisk A/S, where he leads R&D business development activities and investment strategies, as well as participates in the creation of research, early development, and therapeutic pipeline diversification and augmentation strategies. From 2011 to 2018, Mr. McDonald was Vice President, Business Development, at Biogen Inc., where he led business development and negotiated numerous strategic alliances, licenses and acquisitions. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. McDonald served as Managing Director at MPM Capital LP, where he served as the primary business development and asset strategy resource for multiple portfolio companies. Prior to 2006, Mr. McDonald held business development, corporate strategy, and legal roles of increasing responsibility at various biopharmaceutical companies, including Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (now a Takeda Oncology Company), Genzyme Corp (now part of Sanofi) and Genentech, Inc. (now a member of the Roche Group). Mr. McDonald holds a J.D. from University of California Hastings College of the Law and an M.B.A. and B.S. from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley.

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 malignancies. The Company currently is conducting two Phase 3 clinical trials: IMerge in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes and IMpactMF in relapsed/refractory myelofibrosis.

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: (i) the potential registration and commercialization of imetelstat; (ii) the expectation to read out top-line results in lower risk MDS in early January 2023; (iii) the disease-modifying potential of imetelstat; and (iv) other statements that are not historical facts, constitute forward looking statements. These forward-looking 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: (a) whether the current or evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the Russia/Ukraine conflict cause global economic and financial disruptions that materially and adversely impact Geron’s business and business prospects, its financial condition and the future of imetelstat; (b) whether Geron overcomes all of the potential delays and other adverse impacts caused by the current or evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or the Russia/Ukraine conflict, and overcomes all the enrollment, clinical, safety, efficacy, technical, scientific, intellectual property, manufacturing and regulatory challenges in order to have the financial resources for, and to meet the expected timeline of early January 2023 for the lower risk MDS top-line readout; (c) whether regulatory authorities permit the further development of imetelstat on a timely basis, or at all, without any clinical holds; (d) whether any future efficacy or safety results may cause the benefit-risk profile of imetelstat to become unacceptable; (e) whether imetelstat actually demonstrates disease-modifying activity in patients with hematologic malignancies; and (f) whether there are failures or delays in manufacturing or supplying sufficient quantities of imetelstat or other clinical trial materials in a timely manner, or at all. 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 filings and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in such filings and reports, including Geron’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 and future filings and reports by Geron. 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.

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