The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a clinical trial using stem cell therapy on patients with spinal cord injury. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California’s stem cell agency, is funding the trial. The Phase 1/2a clinical trial is designed to test the safety of this approach and to see if it has any benefit for patients. This project revives the first clinical trial approaved by the FDA in 2010 and then abandoned by Genron in November 2011 saying it couldn’t afford to continue. In October 2013, it sold the program to Asterias, a then-new subsidiary of the Alameda company BioTime, in exchange for about 6.5 million shares of Asterias and undisclosed royalties. Geron is now struggling to develop experimental drugs for rare blood cancers. With some tweaks, Asterias is picking up where Geron left off. A $14.3 million grant will cover half the costs of Asterias’ trial, the company said.

Tags: , , , , , ,