Monday, November 22, 2010

Feds OK 2nd human study of embryonic stem cells

For only the second time, the U.S. government has approved a test in people of a treatment using embryonic stem cells - this time for a rare disease that causes serious vision loss.

Advanced Cell Technology, a biotechnology company based in Santa Monica., Calif., said the research should begin early next year, following the green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Just last month another biotech company, Geron Corp., said it had begun preliminary testing in people for treating spinal cord injuries by injecting cells derived from embryonic stem cells.

Scientists hope to use stem cells to create a variety of tissues for transplant. But human embryos have to be destroyed to harvest those cells, which has made their use controversial.

ACT's experiment will focus on Stargardt disease, which affects only about 30,000 Americans. But the company hopes the same approach will work for similar and more common eye disorders like age-related macular degeneration, which affects millions.


Source and More:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SCI_STEM_CELL_BLINDNESS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2010-11-22-00-07-09

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