With biotech companies inching up on clinical trials for human embryonic stem cell-based therapies, the US Food and Drug Administration held a meeting yesterday to discuss scientific issues in properly deriving and characterizing the cells, as well as appropriate clinical trial monitoring. Three biotechs, Geron Corporation, Advanced Cell Technology, and Novocell presented some of their scientific work on spinal cord injury, vision impairment, and diabetes, respectively, at the meeting. Geron and Advanced Cell Technology are hoping to begin testing therapies of cells derived from human embryonic stem cells sometime this year, according to linkurl:Bloomberg News.;http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=ack_39N6i50U&refer=us Jane Lebkowski, senior vice president of regenerative medicine at Geron Corporation, told The Scientist she could not comment on whether this was true. "The science was ready to have this kind of discussion, to make sure clinical trials are safe," Celia Witten, spokesperson for the FDA told a group of reporters after the day-long meeting,...
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