Why Geron Corporation's Stock Is Charging Higher Today

What happened

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN), a cancer-drug company, resumed its yearlong rally on Tuesday, with its shares rising by as much as 14.5% on heavy volume. The spark?

Geron's stock has been ripping higher ever since its partner Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) posted an opening for a strategic pricing manager for the blood-cancer drug Imbruvica -- as well as for imetelstat -- in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Geron and J&J are presently collaborating on imetelstat's development as a treatment for the blood-based malignancies known as advanced myelofibrosis and low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes.

Geron's stock has pulled back to some degree, but its shares remained up by a healthy 11.9% as of 12:12 p.m. EDT on Tuesday.

So what

Geron's shareholders seem to be taking this job posting as a strong indicator that J&J will elect to continue imetelstat's clinical program. If so, Geron will be in line for another milestone payment before year's end. More important is the fact that a positive continuation decision would mean that small-cap Geron wouldn't have to try to advance imetelstat's clinical program alone -- a scenario that would almost certainly lead to further dilution and perhaps a lengthy pause in the drug's development.

Now what

Geron's investor relations firm has repeatedly stated that J&J's continuation decision is expected by no later than Sept. 30. However, there's an outside chance that J&J might make some sort of reference to this collaboration on Sept. 13, when the company is scheduled to review its pharmaceutical business with investors. That's not a guarantee, given the sheer breadth of J&J's pharma pipeline, but it's an event that Geron's shareholders will definitely want to mark down on their calendars.

10 stocks we like better than GeronWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Geron wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Click here to learn about these picks!

*Stock Advisor returns as of August 6, 2018

George Budwell owns shares of Geron and Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and has the following options: short October 2018 $135 calls on Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.