Geron Corp. shares rose 15% after the biotechnology company said it would work with PE Corp.'s Celera Genomics to decipher which human genes play a role determining how undifferentiated stem cells grow into different kinds of tissues.
Geron shares rose $3.88 to close at $30.13 on Nasdaq. Celera shares rose $1.75 to $110 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The agreement is designed to marry Geron's expertise working with stem cells, a field that researchers say could someday yield effective treatment for diseases such as Parkinson's and heart disease, with Celera's effort to decipher the human genetic code.
"Our work under this alliance will bring us one step closer to realizing the therapeutic potential of human pluripotent stem cells," said Thomas Okarma, Geron's chief executive.
The two companies said they would work together to find the genes involved in cell differentiation, picking out important strands of DNA from the 3-billion-letter sequence of the human genome.