"Patents, potential, pipeline, telemeres, Imetelstat, blood cancer, solid tumors, stemcell residuals"
The real difference is that they now seem to have a real product with Imetelstat and all of the posible avenues that that product can take. Of course, if it turns out that this whole line of research fails, then that is the end of Geron. The idea of a long term pipeline should be enough to bring some "deep-pockets" on board. Geron is way, way too small to explore all of the possibilities, without some major help. It is a cheap pipeline for some of the major drug companies. I think a deal is close.
It is highly doubtful, and one of the main reasons (I believe) is the fact that they are currently diluting further to raise another $50 Million... assuming they wouldn't raise funds if they had any negotiation or even mild interest.
In the human body, normal growth and maintenance of tissues occurs by cell division. However, most cells in the body are only able to divide a limited number of times, and this is regulated by telomeres. Telomeres are repeats of the DNA sequence TTAGGG and associated proteins located at the ends of chromosomes. Telomeres act as protective caps to maintain stability and integrity of the chromosomes, which contain the cell’s genetic material. Every time a cell replicates the telomeres shorten; eventually, when they shrink to a certain length, the cell either dies by apoptosis or stops dividing and senesces.
Telomerase is an enzyme that can rebuild telomeres and prevent them from shortening during cell division. Telomerase consists of at least two essential components: the RNA template (hTR), which binds to the telomere, and the catalytic subunit (hTERT) with reverse transcriptase activity, which adds the specific DNA sequence to the chromosome ends. In addition to telomere maintenance, telomerase acts through other mechanisms that contribute to increased cell proliferation.
Telomerase is active during embryonic development when cells are rapidly dividing to support normal growth. During the latter stages of human fetal development, telomerase activity is completely repressed in most somatic cells and is downregulated in tissue stem cells. These tissue stem cells, such as hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow, express telomerase periodically during periods of cell proliferation. Most normal adult cells do not have detectable telomerase activity and telomere length gradually decreases throughout life.
Telomerase and Cancer
When a cell is transformed to become a cancer cell, it divides frequently and the telomeres become very short compared to normal cells. To maintain critically short telomeres and prevent cell death, tumor cells reactivate telomerase. The activation of telomerase itself does not cause a normal cell to become malignant.