Geron Corporation (Nasdaq:GERN) today announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 7,425,448, with broad claims to cardiomyocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). The patent runs until at least April 2025 (subject to any patent term extension that may be available). Geron's GRNCM1 program is developing hESC-derived cardiomyocytes for the treatment of heart disease.

"This patent provides broad coverage of hESC-derived cardiomyocytes for cell therapy and drug screening applications," said David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D., Geron's senior vice president of business development and chief patent counsel. "The addition of this patent to our robust portfolio of Geron-owned and exclusively licensed intellectual property covering embryonic stem cells, technologies for scalable production of pluripotent stem cells, and methods for their differentiation will further strengthen and extend our proprietary position."

"GRNCM1 has potential to address a global unmet medical need for better treatments of heart disease. Evidence from preclinical studies for the utility of Geron's hESC-derived cardiomyocytes was published last year in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington," said Thomas B. Okarma, Ph.D., M.D., Geron's president and chief executive officer. "The scalable production methods described in that publication have enabled Geron to initiate studies of GRNCM1 in large animal models in preparation for an IND. We are also exploring the potential to use these functional human cardiomyocytes in various drug discovery applications, as a tool enabling the development of safer and more effective drugs."

Geron's portfolio of owned and in-licensed patents relating to pluripotent stem cells includes over 35 patents issued in the U.S., more than 70 issued in other countries and over 200 applications pending worldwide. Geron holds the exclusive right under the fundamental hESC patents assigned to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, upheld in recent re-examinations, to develop and commercialize hESC-derived cardiomyocytes, pancreatic islet cells and neural cells for therapeutic applications.

Geron is a biopharmaceutical company that is developing first-in-class therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases, including spinal cord injury, heart failure and diabetes. The products are based on our core expertise in telomerase and human embryonic stem cells. For more information, visit geron.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that statements in this press release regarding potential applications of Geron's human embryonic stem cell technology constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and commercialization of potential products, uncertainty of clinical trial results or regulatory approvals or clearances, need for future capital, dependence upon collaborators and maintenance of our intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements. Additional information on potential factors that could affect our results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in Geron's periodic reports, including the quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2008.

Geron Corporation

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