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Geron (GERN), a small biotech developing an experimental treatment for myelofibrosis, is the top-performing stock in the sector this year. The reason is shaky.

Shares of Geron have more than tripled in price since January, with most of the gains coming in the past week after CEO John Scarlett suggested the drug, imetelstat, is helping patients with the bone marrow disorder live longer.

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That proof doesn’t exist. Still, on his words, the company’s market value is now approaching $1 billion — a level that is both remarkable and hard to justify for such a risky drug-development program.

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