In November 2014, we and Janssen entered into the Collaboration Agreement under which we granted to Janssen exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize imetelstat for all human therapeutic uses, including hematologic myeloid malignancies. Upon the effectiveness of the Collaboration Agreement, we received $35 million from Janssen as an upfront payment.

On September 27, 2018, we announced that Janssen decided to discontinue the Collaboration Agreement as a result of a strategic portfolio evaluation and prioritization of assets within their portfolio. As such, Geron has regained the global rights to develop and commercialize imetelstat, a first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, and intends to continue the development of imetelstat in hematologic myeloid malignancies.

Patients currently enrolled in the ongoing imetelstat clinical trials, IMbark™ and IMerge™, will continue to be supported through the respective trial protocols, including treatment and follow up.

As of May 14, 2019, Geron assumed the imetelstat investigational new drug (IND) sponsorship from Janssen. With the IND transfer complete, Geron is proceeding with start-up activities for the Phase 3 portion of IMerge in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes and continues to expect the Phase 3 portion of IMerge to be open for screening and enrollment by mid-year. Geron expects to complete the transition of the imetelstat program by the end of the third quarter of 2019, including assuming the remaining non-clinical, manufacturing, and ex-U.S. clinical operational responsibilities from Janssen.

In addition, Geron recently refined its strategies for potential regulatory approval in relapsed/refractory myelofibrosis (MF), and will perform analyses to support these strategies. The Company believes the results of these analyses will enhance the potential for reaching agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a timely and cost-effective regulatory strategy for imetelstat in relapsed/refractory MF. Geron plans to conduct an End of Phase 2 meeting with the FDA by the end of the first quarter of 2020 to discuss these strategies. Subsequent to this meeting, the Company expects to provide a decision regarding late-stage development of imetelstat in relapsed/refractory MF.