Healthcare Industry News:  human embryonic stem cell 

Regenerative Medicine

 News Release - March 3, 2010

Geron Highlights Product Launch from Collaboration with Corning - the Synthemax Surface for Scalable Growth of Human Embryonic Stem Cells

MENLO PARK, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Geron Corporation (Nasdaq:GERN ) today announced that Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW ) has launched the Synthemax™ surface, a new synthetic matrix for growing human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), developed under a collaboration and license agreement between the two companies.

Geron and Corning have been working together to develop synthetic surface matrices to enhance the scalability of hESC-derived product manufacturing. The Corning® Synthemax™ surface is the first such product to be commercialized.

“The synthetic growth matrix technology developed in our collaboration with Corning is an enabling platform to be used by Geron in producing new cell therapies for patients with degenerative diseases,” said Jane S. Lebkowski, Ph.D., Geron’s senior vice president and chief scientific officer, regenerative medicine. “This technology allows for more consistent, reliable and cost-effective manufacturing of hESC-derived products.”

hESCs express telomerase and have the capacity for indefinite replication in the undifferentiated state while retaining the potential to develop into all the cell types of the human body (pluripotency). With these properties, hESCs are the ideal starting material for large-scale production of cell therapies. To date, hESCs have been grown in complex culture systems that use biological materials, such as culture vessels with biological surface coatings.

Biological materials present a challenge for manufacturing hESC-derived products at scales required for therapeutic applications. Biological surface coatings are expensive to produce, have lot-to-lot variability, and are subject to costly testing to ensure that they are pathogen-free.

Synthetic growth surfaces enable readily scalable and cost-effective production of undifferentiated hESCs and their differentiated therapeutic cells. Geron and Corning scientists presented data showing robust hESC growth and differentiation on the Synthemax™ surface at the September 2009 World Stem Cell Summit.

The Synthemax™ surface supports the long-term propagation of hESCs cultured in a defined, xeno-free medium, while maintaining:
  • stable proliferation rates;
  • characteristic phenotypic marker profile of the undifferentiated state;
  • normal karyotype; and
  • pluripotency.
The laboratory products using the Synthemax™ surface and other synthetic surface matrices developed under the collaboration between Geron and Corning will be commercialized by Corning. Geron will receive a royalty on product sales and has exclusive rights to use the synthetic surface matrices, including the Synthemax™ surface, in the manufacturing of certain therapeutic products. Currently, Corning’s 6-well plate with the Synthemax™ surface is available in North America.

About Geron

Geron is developing first-in-class biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases, including spinal cord injury, heart failure and diabetes. The company is advancing an anti-cancer drug and a cancer vaccine that target the enzyme telomerase through multiple clinical trials in different cancers. For more information, visit

About Corning Incorporated

Corning Incorporated ( is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 150 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences. Our products include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy and metrology.

Geron Safe Harbor

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 annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009.

Corning Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995), which are based on current expectations and assumptions about Corning’s financial results and business operations, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include: the effect of global political, economic and business conditions; conditions in the financial and credit markets; currency fluctuations; tax rates; product demand and industry capacity; competition; reliance on a concentrated customer base; manufacturing efficiencies; cost reductions; availability of critical components and materials; new product commercialization; pricing fluctuations and changes in the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; new plant start-up or restructuring costs; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, armed conflict, political instability or major health concerns; adequacy of insurance; equity company activities; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the rate of technology change; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; stock price fluctuations; and adverse litigation or regulatory developments. These and other risk factors are detailed in Corning’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.

Source: Geron Corp

Issuer of this News Release is solely responsible for its content.
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