California-based biotech company Geron Corp. announced today (Jan. 23) that it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin trials for the world's first clinical study on human embryonic stem cell-based therapy. linkurl:Geron;http://www.geron.com/ plans to initiate a Phase I multicenter clinical trial in up to 10 patients paralyzed due to spinal cord injury. Its treatment -- currently referred to as "GRNOPC1" -- uses embryonic stem cells coaxed to become nerve cells, which are injected into the spinal cord. The FDA had been linkurl:mulling over;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54544/ the decision ever since Geron filed its 21,000-page application for the trial in March. linkurl:Last May,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54647/ the FDA placed a hold on the petition to give them time to review the study. Approval came in a phone call on Wednesday afternoon, said Thomas Okarma, Geron's president and CEO, according to the__ linkurl:Wall Street Journal.;http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123268485825709415.html __"This marks the beginning of what is potentially...
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