Human clinical stem-cell trial backed in California
For the first time ever, California’s $3 Billion state stem cell funding agency has backed a human clinical trial.
On May 4, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine announced a $25-million award to support a spinal cord injury trial. The award is a loan to Geron Corp., a California based biopharmaceuticals firm that has been working on a treatment for spinal cord injuries that is derived from human embryonic stem cells. Geron uses the cells to derive oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. In rats, when these have been injected at the site of spinal cord injuries, they develop into cells that produce myelin, a substance that insulates nerve cells and is necessary for healthy nerve function.