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Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN)

2013 Annual Shareholder Meeting

May 22, 2013 5:00 pm ET

Executives

John A. Scarlett - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Anna Krassowska - Investor and Media Relations Officer

Andrew J. Grethlein - Acting Head of Research and Executive Vice President of Technical Operations

Stephen N. Rosenfield - Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer, Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer

John A. Scarlett

First of all, let me just thank all of you for coming today. When we get finished here, I'll actually start. And as you probably know from being at these type of meetings, before I have a script to read. It's not very exciting. So I will go ahead and -- are all the numbers filled in on this, that I have in front of me?

Unknown Executive

Yes.

Anna Krassowska

Okay. Is there some timing because I don't know when you're going to be there at that time.

John A. Scarlett

All right. Thank you very much. I'd like to welcome, warmly welcome shareholders to the 2013 Geron Corporation Annual Shareholders Meeting. I'm Chip Scarlett, and I'm the President and CEO of the company. The meeting will please come to order.

I will be presiding over this meeting as the CEO, President and a Director of the corporation. In addition to in person attendance, stockholders can participate in this meeting via a conference call, which can be accessed by dialing (877) 415-3185 in the United States or for international dialing, it's (857) 244-7328. The passcode is 11038077. The meeting is also being audio broadcast over the Internet, and the link is available on our website at www.geron.com. The audio webcast of the annual meeting will be available for replay approximately 1 hour following the conclusion of the meeting through June 21, 2013.

This afternoon, our program will proceed as follows. First, I will conduct the official business of the 2013 annual meeting. During this part of the meeting, please limit questions you may have to those which relate to the formal business at hand. Next, I will provide some commentary on the company's imetelstat program. There are no new updates since our last quarterly conference call at the end of April and our last investor conference presentation at the beginning of May. Following that, we'll open the meeting to a question-and-answer session. For stockholders participating over the telephone, [Operator Instructions].

Before we begin the official business of the meeting, I would like to introduce our directors who are present today. We're very fortunate to have an outstanding board with diverse knowledge and experience. And I see Bryan Lawlis in the back; Dan Bradbury; Rob Spiegel; Thomas Hofstaetter; Karin Eastham, that's the rogues gallery in the back; Susan Molineaux, who is up here, and have I missed any other directors in the room? Oh, Hoyoung, of course, Mr. Chairman. All right. And I'd also like to introduce the officers of the company who are present today. Olivia Bloom to my far left, our Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer; Stephen Rosenfield, who is our Executive Vice President, General Counsel and General Corporate Secretary; Andrew Grethlein who is in the back, our Executive Vice President of Technical Operations; Melissa Behrs, our Senior Vice President of Alliance and Portfolio Management; and Craig Parker, our Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, also in the back.

Scott Morrison, who's in front, from Ernst & Young, the company's independent registered public accounting firm is also present. Stephen Rosenfield will act as Secretary of the Meeting and has been appointed Inspector of Elections to examine and count the proxies and ballots at this meeting. Mr. Rosenfield has taken and subscribed to the customary oath of office to execute his duties with strict impartiality. We will file this oath with the records of the meeting. Mr. Rosenfield has also presented me with a complete list of stockholders of record of the company's common stock on March 25, 2013, the record date. Additionally, Mr. Rosenfield has reported to me that notice of this meeting was given to all stockholders of record as of March 25, 2013. He has also informed me that more than a majority of the total number of shares outstanding and entitled to vote are present in person or by proxy at this meeting constituting a valid quorum. A quorum being present, the meeting is declared open, and we'll now proceed with our business. The time is now 2:10 p.m. on May 22, 2013 and the polls are now open for voting on all matters to be presented. The polls will be closed to the voting after we go through the matters to be voted on. You do not need to vote if you have already sent in a signed proxy or voted online or by telephone. Each share of common stock is entitled to 1 vote.

On our agenda today, there are 3 proxy proposals to be voted on. I will first have each of them formally moved and seconded and then we will proceed to voting. So the first matter to be voted on is the election of the Class II members of the Board of Directors for a 3-year term. Nominations are now in order for candidates for Class II directors to serve until the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders or until their successors are duly elected and qualified. The current Board of Directors has recommended the election of, and I move to elect, the following nominees for Class II directors: Dr. Hoyoung Huh, Mr. Daniel Bradbury, may I have a second?

Unknown Shareholder

Second.

John A. Scarlett

A motion to elect the named nominees as Class II directors has been made and seconded. The proxy statement address the subject of stockholder nominations for election to the Board of Directors. The Secretary informs me that no such nominations were received within the timeframes outlined on the proxy statement.

The second is a proposal #2. The advisory vote to approve named executive officer compensation. The next item of business is a nonbinding advisory vote on the compensation paid to Geron's named executive officers as disclosed in the 2013 proxy statement. I move that the compensation paid to Geron's named executive officers as discussed in the 2013 proxy statement be approved on a nonbinding advisory basis. May I have a second?

Unknown Shareholder

I second the motion.

John A. Scarlett

The motion has been made and seconded to approve on a nonbinding advisory basis. The compensation paid to Geron's named executive officers as disclosed in the 2013 proxy statement.

The third is the ratification of the selection of independent registered public accounting firm. The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors has selected Ernst & Young LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2013 and is seeking shareholder -- stockholder ratification of the appointment. I move that the selection of Ernst & Young be ratified. May I have a second?

Unknown Shareholder

I second the motion.

John A. Scarlett

A motion has been made and seconded to ratify the selection by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Ernst & Young LLP.

We will now proceed to vote on the previously discussed motions. It is not necessary for stockholders to vote by ballot, if they've already sent in their proxy cards or voted via phone or Internet unless they wish to change their vote.

Those stockholders attending the meeting in person who wish to vote by ballot should have received a ballot at the door. If you would like to vote by ballot and did not receive a ballot at the door, please raise your hand and a ballot will be provided to you. Each ballot must be signed by the stockholder voting or by his or her proxy and must state the number of shares voted. Anyone who wishes to do that, over here. Go and pass it along. Thank you. Stephen, I'll give you these while we're at it.

[Voting]

John A. Scarlett

All right, the time is 2:12 p.m. and the polls are now closed for voting.

It is now time for me to receive the preliminary report of the inspection -- Inspector of Elections. Thank you very much.

Dr. Hoyoung Huh and Mr. Daniel Bradbury have each been elected as a Class II director and the selection of Ernst & Young LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year entering -- ending December 31, 2013 has been ratified. However, the compensation paid to the named executive officers as disclosed in the proxy statement has not been approved on a nonbinding advisory basis. A full tally of the votes will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on a Form 8-K on or about May 28, 2013.

This concludes the business portion of the meeting. I move that the formal meeting be adjourned. May I have a second?

Unknown Shareholder

I second the motion.

John A. Scarlett

All in favor, say aye?

[Voting]

John A. Scarlett

Those opposed, say no. The meeting is adjourned.

So I would like to make a few comments about the company and what we are about, it should take about 10 minutes, and then we will open the floor for any and all questions.

One of the things I would like to explain to stockholders is that we often get questions why we read the forward-looking statements. Many companies don't read them, but to have the full force of law unfortunately, we have to read them. And so, I'm going to read the forward-looking statement.

Except for statements of historical fact, this presentation and the question-and-answer session following contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Including, without limitation, statements regarding timelines for data reporting and clinical trial initiation, scope of the patent protection, prospects and plans for imetelstat and financial and operational expectations, projections and requirements. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in Geron's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, primarily under the heading Risk Factors, including the annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. Undue reliance should not be placed on Geron's forward-looking statements and Geron disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future information, events or circumstances.

So the company today is focused on hematologic malignancies. These are malignancies of the blood. And we are focused on developing our product imetelstat, which is a very novel and differentiated product, as a telomerase inhibitor for these indications. And as many of you in the room and I suspect on the phone know from past years, imetelstat selectively inhibits the telomerase-driven proliferation of malignant progenitor cells, and therefore, has the potential to impact the underlying disease of these hematologic malignancies in ways that other drugs quite possibly do not have.

The data from our proof of concept Phase II study in the essential thrombocythemia for disease modification or from that study demonstrated the potential for disease modification in hematologic malignancies. We reported at ASH last year. That's the American Society for Hematology meeting in December of last year, a 92.9% complete response in terms of the hematologic remission. That is lowering platelet counts, and an 86% molecular response rate. These suggests that the product is actually working by effecting the underlying malignancy and therefore has a broad -- a potential broad utility in a wide variety of hematologic malignancies, including myelofibrosis, which I think all of you know, we are studying in a study at the Mayo Clinic today. That study is an investigator-sponsored trial ongoing at the Mayo Clinic. We have adopted a strategy of directed, investigator-sponsored trials for signal seeking followed by rigorous company sponsored multi-center studies when the results of the ISTs suggests that would be appropriate.

As of March 31, we had approximately $80 million in cash and investments. Very strong drug development capabilities and experiences within the company, and so we believe we do have resources to move further along imetelstat in hematologic malignancies. I'm not going to describe imetelstat in any great detail. I'll simply say that it's an oligonucleotide, which is a sequence that is complementary to the part of the telomerase enzyme that is responsible for putting additional telomere repeats on the end of DNA chromosome or on the end of the DNA of chromosomes. And this molecule binds -- or sorry, this molecule binds to the telomerase enzyme and basically inhibits its action. And therefore, telomeres are not protected, and they are shortened and because the shortening occurs more rapidly in cells that are turning over more rapidly, it should have a differential effect on malignant cells that are proliferating rapidly compared to nonmalignant cells.

So hematologic malignancies are a very interesting disease. They arise in the bone marrow, which is where all the formed elements of blood, where red cells, white cells and platelets are made. Pretty much every form of cell that is made in the bone marrow can proliferate out of control and cause the bone marrow to be replaced by malignant cells that no long -- or by fibrosis in the latter stages that no longer allow for a normal manufacture of these normal blood cells.

And when that occurs, you have 2 general types of morbidity that's associated with that. One of them comes from the too many cells. And many times, those cells that are being made in the highly proliferative numbers are actually -- don't work very well. A good example is essential thrombocythemia, where too many platelets are made. Many of you may know that platelets are part of the central clotting mechanism and prevent or allow for us to actually clot our blood. If you have too few platelets, you can have bleeding, very severe bleeding. If you have too many platelets, often times the problem is that you have too much clotting of blood and thromboembolic events occur. Many of the platelets that are made by the tumor that's making the essential thrombocythemia are actually disordered. Sometimes they clot too well. Sometimes they don't clot well enough. So what you really want to do in that case is kill the malignant clone in the bone marrow that's making too many of the pre-cursers of platelets, to call like a karyocyte and therefore return the bone marrow back to health, where it has a normal composition.

The other way that these malignancies harm people is that they crowd out the normal complement of cells. And in the case of a disease like myelofibrosis, they actually lay down collagen and form a fibrotic reaction. And so if you look at the bone marrow, it's not making enough of any kind of cells. And so the way that many patients pass away with this types of disease in the final end stages are that their bone marrow is replaced by fibrosis and too many cells that don't work properly, and there's not enough room for normal hematopoiesis.

Now in the case of myelofibrosis, which is right now probably the disease of most interest to us in imetelstat, the body actually forces the production of normal blood cells out into the spleen and the liver. In fetal life, that's where a lot of blood cells are made. But in adult life, almost all of our blood cells are made in the bone marrow but when the bone marrow is so diseased, the body figures out how to access those fetal patterns, if you will, and puts them out. That creates very large spleens for people, which actually are a big problem. They're very tender. They hurt. If you are in an automobile accident, your spleen can rupture and you can die. And also the patients have a series of other symptoms associated with those large spleens, which come from a different source that are often fellow travelers including drenching night sweats, extreme itchiness or pruritus and so forth. So that's the symptomatology side of it. And the other side of it is that the bone marrow even with that, the patients are making inadequate number of cells. And so, they eventually pass away of anemia. They don't make enough white cells, and they get infected, and you can't cure the infection and so forth.

So the rationale for using imetelstat in this disease is that we know that telomerase is an enzyme that has to be upregulated in order for the progenitor cells that become malignant. In order for them to survive, you have to upregulated telomerase. So that led to the whole concept of selectively inhibiting the malignant progenitors that are driving the disease by knocking out or by significantly reducing telomerase activity. So that's what's actually going on. So the way to think about this is that you've got inside the bone marrow, a malignant clone, and it's kind of distributed throughout the bone marrow. You can't actually see the little islands, if you will, it's distribute everywhere. So you have a malignant clone. It's turned on. It's making either too many of a very immature cell or eventually making so many byproducts of cellular metabolism that the bone marrow doesn't make enough of any kind of cell, being driven by those malignant progenitor cells within that malignant clone, and that's being driven by upregulated telomerase.

Unknown Executive

[indiscernible]

John A. Scarlett

Sorry? Did I hear something?

Unknown Executive

It said connections lost.

[Technical Difficulty]

John A. Scarlett

Okay. All right. So we're getting there. So in any event, the activity of the company today is really organized around these diseases, and there are a couple of reasons why we went there and then there are a couple of reasons why we're continuing to be there. One of the reasons that we went there is that as an oligonucleotide, it turns out that these class of drugs, for reasons that are not entirely clear, unerringly aim for the bone marrow. So we see very high levels of the drug in the bone marrow. Some of the problems in drug development often are that the drugs that work so well in the laboratory don't work so well in patients because they never actually get into the -- into the tumor. In this case, we know that imetelstat distributes very well to the bone marrow, and we also know that it does what it's supposed to do in the bone marrow. It actually does inhibit those malignant progenitors. And therefore, the drug has the potential to address the underlying disease in addition to simply making symptoms better.

So another feature that I just want to talk about very briefly is, how is it that we believe that this drug is actually affecting the underlying disease because that's a really central to our thesis. And there's a very clever way to try to figure that out. So imagine you've got the bone marrow, and you've got both normal formation of blood cells and you also have a formation of blood cells coming out of this malignant clone, and they're the bad actors. It turns out that in a reasonably large number of patients with these types of diseases, there's actually 1 of several mutations that we can measure in the daughter cells, in the progeny of those stem cells or those progenitors cells that are malignant. So they form biomarkers, if you will, so we can actually measure in circulating white cells where that white cell came from. Did it come from the malignant clone? Or did it come from normal production of -- by normal bone marrow? And we call that, the proportion of cells that have come from the malignant clone, we call that the allylic burden or sometimes we just call it a molecular response, if you get a reduction. What we showed in the ET trial, that we presented the initial results of in December, was that we actually significantly lowered the proportion of cells coming from the malignant clone that were actually circulating. So that's direct evidence that we are actually affecting the underlying disease. That is not seen with other drugs that are currently either under investigation or approved, for example, for myelofibrosis or ET. Or if it is seen, it's seen very little. So we think that we have a drug that can potentially affect underlying disease and in doing so, we would hope to see some very good results.

So the way that we are going forward with that today is that we have picked myelofibrosis as the focus for our efforts and the reason for that are that myelofibrosis is a very devastating disease. The patients that we're treating generally have a survival of only up to about 3 years. Many of them can only be expected to survive for 1 year. And it's a very objective disease that has been very -- all the responses and potential grading of the responses have been well codified by international working groups. And we're able to follow both symptoms, able to follow signs of the disease in large splenomegaly, and we're also -- or in large spleen size, and we're also able to follow the allylic burden. And ultimately, we actually take biopsies of the bone marrow and look to see what's happening there. Sort of the ultimate read out.

So we started a study with one of the world experts in this, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi at the Mayo Clinic in November of last year. And we reported on our last conference call that the initial responses seen met the protocol criteria for going to an increased dose level, and that criteria required 2 out of 11 patients to have responses, at least 2 out of 11 patients to have responses. The initial dosing of the drug was once every 3 weeks. We're now permitted by the protocol and have actually Dr. Tefferi has actually started to have a second cohort of 11 patients who will be dosed at a more intensive, in a more intensive manner. They'll get 1 dose of drug every week for 4 weeks in a row and then once every 3 weeks thereafter.

We're right in the middle of all of this. We're not in a position to give out any further data today, and the study certainly is still continuing. However, Dr. Tefferi has told us and makes sense to us that data should be available at ASH, the American Society of Hematology meeting next year -- I'm sorry, this year, in December of this year, and I think that will be a very interesting time for all of us to say the least.

The -- I think that the only other thing that I will comment on is the safety or side effect profile of the drug in this type of disease. By and large, the drug's been very well tolerated. There have been some, what I would call, interesting initial observations of some liver function test abnormalities. However, they have not gone on to more severe situations. We've engaged a bunch of liver experts and none of them have made any recommendations to change what we're doing, change the way the drug is used or dosed. So I think we're feeling pretty comfortable about that. And other than that, we see the usual side effects associated with a drug like this that would have an effect on stem cells and progenitor cells. We see a lowering initially of platelets and white blood cells, but those recover after the drug is no longer given.

So maybe I'll stop there and that's pretty much where we're going. If this is successful, I can tell you that the market for myelofibrosis is quite large. The current -- there's only 1 drug currently approved. It's only been approved for a couple of years. Analysts have suggested at least in the past that, that drug would do something on the -- in both in myelofibrosis and other allied diseases, that it would do, on the order of up to -- peak sales of $400 million a year in the U.S. and $350 million outside of the United States. So those are very large numbers. It's a very -- it's a high unmet medical need area. There's -- most of the drugs that are used and the 1 drug that's currently approved don't really affect the underlying disease it effects. They just palliate the symptoms and the splenomegaly and so forth. So we have very high hopes for imetelstat here, but it's still in progress, I guess I would say.

So I think with that, that was what I intended to speak to, and I think I'm very happy to take -- I, and others are very happy to take questions from the audience of any nature.

Question-and-Answer Session

Unknown Shareholder

This is a simple layman's question and that is, that we often hear about bone marrow transfers that people with [indiscernible], are most of that have to do with how much [indiscernible]?

John A. Scarlett

So one way that would ideally be available to treat a patient with bone marrow disease would be to in principle, wipe out their bone marrow with drugs and then transplant in bone marrow stem cells and regrow normal cells. So that's called often stem cell transplant, bone marrow transplant or the like. Unfortunately, you have to be young and reasonably healthy to survive that. The mortality and morbidity associated with that are really pretty awful. And as it turns out, for myelofibrosis because it's a disease principally of older people, the average age of onset is around 65 years of age. So I'm coming into the danger zone myself. It is -- bone marrow transplant is not ordinarily available. So only about 5%, between 5% and 10% of patients with myelofibrosis actually have the opportunity to participate in that type of treatment. So drugs are really necessary is the story. Surely. Yes?

Unknown Shareholder

;

You mentioned that there are far more producing the white blood cells. Now the bone marrow produces both red and white blood cells, and can you tell us what the effect is on the red cell?

John A. Scarlett

Yes, good question. So the markers that we follow most conveniently are a mutation in what's called the JAK2 gene, and we follow it most conveniently in circulating white cells. But we infer that if there are circulating white cells, or also that marker is probably also present in some of the other cells that are there, but we just don't measure it in them. I think the way you should think about these diseases are that although there maybe a preponderance, so for example, if it's a white cell preponderance coming out of the malignant clone, it becomes something known as a leukemia, which means white blood actually and when it's really bad, blood actually looks a little white. So the leukemias are often a preponderance of that form of malignancy. But many of the cells, many of the cells that are made come from the malignant clone, and they can be a whole hodgepodge of different cells. So when you really get down and you measure what's in the blood, oftentimes that there are many different types of cells that have come from that underlying malignancy. We just have to measure them in the white cells. Now in some cases, such as polycythemia vera, there are higher numbers of red cells made, so a good example. In some cases, it's white cells, chronic myelogenous leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia. Sometimes it's platelet, essential thrombocythemia. This is a complicated area by the way. it took me quite a while to come up to speed on it, so I don't expect everybody to be there right away. But I guess what I would say is, that overall when we see the proportion of cells coming from the malignant clone going down, we infer that, that means all of the other ones are as well.

Unknown Shareholder

So you're saying that the clone or the bone marrow itself produces both red and white?

John A. Scarlett

Correct.

Unknown Shareholder

And part of the malignant...

John A. Scarlett

And platelets.

Unknown Shareholder

Is the fact that it's leaning in one direction.

John A. Scarlett

That's correct, right. And the way to think of it, it's a war that's going on in the bone marrow. There's these malignant clones and there's frankly, more than one of them usually. They're -- we can identify through genomics more than one frequently, and they're just resolutely making more and more and more of whatever they want to make, red cells, white cells, platelets, et cetera. And then there's the normal bone marrow, which has, it's quite exclusively regulated. We ordinarily wouldn't make too many red cells. We wouldn't have too high hemoglobin, unless you live in an oxygen-deprived area like Denver and then it goes up. So it's a regulated process. Malignancy by definition is an unregulated process. So that's what we have. We have all of these cells being poured out and usually they don't work properly and just the fact that they crowd out -- the malignancy crowds out the normal cells in the bone marrow plus the ill effects of the cells made by that malignancy together form the basis for the disease. Sure, anybody else? Any other questions? Andrew, do we have any questions from the folks on the phone?

Andrew J. Grethlein

None at the moment.

Anna Krassowska

You may need to remind the dialers how to ask a question.

John A. Scarlett

Okay, I'll be happy to do that. Better read it myself. So they're already dialed in and they have a passcode, so I think it's, ah, yes, [Operator Instructions].

Unknown Shareholder

I have a question. The stem cell joint partnership with BAC for September, is that still ongoing and is there anything that you can announce at this point?

John A. Scarlett

I don't think there's anything we can announce at this point. We, basically, that the deal was set to go and actually what is happening is we've divested the stem cell assets to BioTime Acquisition Corporation, which now has a new name, Asterias. Asterias Biotherapeutics, I believe is their official name.

Stephen N. Rosenfield

Chip, we haven't divested them yet.

John A. Scarlett

Yes, that's correct. We haven't. We thought...

Unknown Executive

We plan to divest for them. We're in the process.

John A. Scarlett

We're in the process of doing that and...

Unknown Executive

[indiscernible]

John A. Scarlett

Yes, I know. This is why you always want your corporate counsel to take over. We hope to divest them, and we have a deal on the table to divest them, but there are quite a few conditions to closing that transaction that have not yet occurred. So -- but when, and if it does, then shareholders of Geron will receive shares in Asterias Biotherapeutics and hopefully participate in what I hope, but I can't promise, will be a successful venture there. We don't have anything to do it. Geron itself will not -- Geron itself will receive a royalty eventually if they have products, but I will not receive any actual shares. So the company will not own any shares in BAC.

Unknown Shareholder

I've got a couple of questions about the divestiture. Okay one is, why the didn't the majority of shareholders vote on the divestiture since BioTime is requiring their shareholders to approve it, why wasn't Geron put in the same situation?

John A. Scarlett

I'll have to look to my counsel on this one.

Unknown Shareholder

Second part is, how do we know that there is appropriate valuation when we have not had the follow-up reports that we were promised on multiple stem cell programs that were going on in Geron, and we don't know exactly what is it completely until the divestiture, like does the nuclear transfer go in there? Is it -- what part are in that divestiture? We never got updates on the OPC1 trial. We've got [indiscernible] patients that are well into a point where we would have gotten some kind of an update on those people, and we've been completely shut down on that, so how do we understand if there was any value in that part of it? The other part is on the divestiture, for GE portion. How much of that does the Geron shareholder receive back in royalty to pass this through that company or how much is maintained by them. I know they're taking over the litigation part. I know they're dealing with the deal with the [indiscernible] cells that was in litigation, correct?

John A. Scarlett

Yes, correct.

Unknown Shareholder

But we don't know what the result of that will be. Is there going to be any pass-through on that, if there's royalties.

Stephen N. Rosenfield

I can answer some of those questions. If I missed any, remind me to cover those and Chip can answer some of that as well. So I'm not sure exactly why BioTime put this to a stockholder vote, you'd have to ask them. They would explain it, and it's probably in their proxy why they did it. There is no requirement to do that. And so therefore, we didn't feel any need to do so. No legal requirement. With respect to your other question.

Unknown Shareholder

Doesn't Delaware law state that shareholders, that the assets of the company are the assets of the shareholders. The shareholders, if they feel that the assets are being sublet or given away at a lower price, they have legal right to litigate?

Stephen N. Rosenfield

There's always a right to litigate as you well know for anything you want. The question that you asked us, whether we were required to put this to a stockholder vote, and we spoke to our Delaware counsel and we were not required and so and didn't feel that it was our obligation to do so. With respect to your questions about what was transferred, what is the transfer. All good questions in terms of trying to figure out the value of the deal. All the documents and all the disclosures because we're a public company and they're a public company, are either in the public record or will be in the public record at the time that the deal closes. Right now, it's -- there are, many of these things are confidential, and you won't have access to them, and that's part of the agreement. But at the time that the deal closes, all the public required documents will be there, and you'll have a much better shape to assess the value.

Unknown Shareholder

Well, the big issue is, the deal is kind of closed and you have no dissemination to the shareholders exactly of what's entailed in the deal. If they close, it's gone, it's done. They only avenue for a for shareholder would be litigation. That is problematic. There's been a lot of things where shareholders have to do their job information on this company through searching through the Internet to find abstract on things like GRN510, had an abstract that's put out just the other month. Nothing's been put out by the company.

Stephen N. Rosenfield

Well, we're a public company, and we have a certain level of required disclosure that we have to meet by the SEC. And we meet that obligation, and we're transparent about what we need to disclose. And when we need to disclose them and how it needs to be disclosed and what level of detail. So at the time that the deal closes, all of the requisite documents. And BioTime is public also, they have to make those disclosures as well. It will all be out there.

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom

Stephen, may I have a couple of minutes, please?

Stephen N. Rosenfield

If you want to. Go for it, CFO.

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom

So specifically related to the BioTime proxy, if you take a look at their proxy document, you will specifically identify the reasons why they had to seek shareholder approval. I want to make sure that, it's highlighted that they did not seek shareholder approval from the transaction. Actually, they were seeking approval for the increase in authorized number of shares to be able to, be able to fund the deal, as well as the actual issuance of the shares because it's issuance of the shares themselves were going to be greater than 25% of their current outstanding. And because they are a New York Stock Exchange listed company, they were required to seek shareholder approval. So it was not an approval seeking for the deal itself. Then secondly, your question related to the document themselves related to the transaction, the actual agreement of the asset contribution transaction was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in January of this year when we signed the deal. So the entire document, with all of the details and the schedules that go along with that transaction, have been available for shareholders to review since January.

Unknown Shareholder

Right, but what I'm saying is, like there's been new development in nuclear transfer with [indiscernible] stem cell that's coming up and Geron has an extensive portfolio in nuclear transfer pertaining to the rights of the human portion in the deals were done with the company that we used to have a portion of.

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom

Correct, nuclear transfer as you know, one technology that the company did acquire back in May of 1999. However, though, the company as you know has had a very strong policy not to pursue human cloning. Of course, because of the ethical consideration that are involved. So the company never considered, ever to utilize nuclear transfer for that endeavor. I would like to also just highlight that the nuclear transfer technology was out licensed to a joint venture that originally was called Star Licensing, who then was acquired by a company called Biogen and now owned by entirely by that company called Biogen, which now has been purchased...

Stephen N. Rosenfield

Purchased another company.

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom

Right, purchased by another company called [indiscernible]

Unknown Shareholder

Now what I'm talking about in the nuclear transfer is not cloning, it's therapeutic human embryonic stem cell cloning, it's human cloning per se.

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom

That still would be considered cloning of a human. So again --

John A. Scarlett

Cloning of a fetus basically or an embryo, I guess. Well, whatever I'm not going to argue the point.

Unknown Shareholder

But the other area is, so that you're saying that has been part of the deal with BioTime or any of that?

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom

No. It's not.

John A. Scarlett

It's not getting moved into the BAC acquisition company.

Olivia Kyusuk Bloom

Correct.

John A. Scarlett

It was a prior license to Biogen, which had a life of its own. t's now involved with another company.

Unknown Shareholder

Right, but I mean, that was the animal portion. We're done with that one. But the human portion was still retained by the company even though they never pursued the human portion.

John A. Scarlett

I think it was a strategic decision at the time to not prioritize the human portion of the nuclear transfer.

Stephen N. Rosenfield

So again everything that is being transferred is in the argument and it's been filed.

Unknown Shareholder

Okay, because the way the argument read, there was a portion that said, patents that weren't in use, so it was vague on that part, so I wasn't sure what went where.

Stephen N. Rosenfield

This is good feedback for us, for our future communications, along with the final confirmation of the deal. So we appreciate the feedback because it...

John A. Scarlett

Did we answer all your questions because you had a lot?

Unknown Shareholder

I've got tons more.

John A. Scarlett

But we have lots of [indiscernible], so maybe after we try to address some of the other ones that you have. Thanks for the good questions. Other folks, other questions?

Unknown Shareholder

Just one last. Simply put, is imetelstat the only product that Geron has since LRP?

John A. Scarlett

Yes. It's the only product in development, and it's effectively the only product that's going forward at this moment in time. It's correct. Anybody else? Any other questions? Nothing on the back line there? Any shareholders have any questions [Operator Instructions] All right. Well, I think we're going to conclude the meeting actually, just about on time. I'd like to thank again, everybody, for showing up and for participating and owning shares in the company. I think we'll close the meeting then. Anything else? All right, thank you, all, very much for coming. Thank you. All right, thank you for everyone on the phone listening in. Bye-bye.

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, that concludes today's conference. Thank you for your participation and you may now disconnect. Have a great day.

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