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Daily Archives: May 8, 2007

Embryonic stem cells trial on track to start

Published: May 8, 2007

The first clinical trial of embryonic stem cells is on track to start early next year on patients with spinal cord injury. Geron (NASDAQ:GERN – news), the California-based Biotechnology company, will carry out the study on accident victims in six trauma centres across the US.

“The world’s spotlight will be on this trial,” Tom Okarma, Geron’s chief executive, told the Bio conference in Boston. To get it right, the company has carried out several years of preparatory work in collaboration with its academic partners at the University of California, Irvine.

Analysis: Stem cells closer to trials

Published: May 8, 2007

WASHINGTON, May 9 (UPI) — Despite the limitations on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, two companies recently said they are close to entering clinical trials with the versatile cells.

Geron plans to file an investigational new drug application with the Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year for using cells derived from embryonic stem cells for treating spinal injuries.

Advanced Cell Technology, which previously said it planned to file an IND this year for using stem cell-derived therapies for treating macular degeneration, announced this week it has developed a technique to generate a type of progenitor cell that could move into the clinic in 2008 for treating a variety of ills.

Marsupial Genome Sequence to Advance Human Health Studies

Published: May 8, 2007
First marsupial to get genome sequenced, the laboratory opossum is valuable model for research in spinal cord injury repair.
First marsupial to get genome sequenced, the laboratory opossum is valuable model for research in spinal cord injury repair.

Newswise — Being announced this week in the journal Nature is the sequencing of the genome of the gray, short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica, an animal originally developed as a model for scientific studies at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research (SFBR) in San Antonio and now utilized by researchers around the globe for a wide variety of research on human health and disease. The tiny Monodelphis domestica is the first marsupial to be sequenced.

SFBR Chief Scientific Officer John L. VandeBerg, who first developed the animal as a scientific model and who serves as a co-author on the Nature article, explained that the genome sequencing is poised to have a significant impact on biomedical research.

United Spinal Association Test Rides Standard Taxi

Published: May 8, 2007

Taxi prototype, first factory built sedan taxi that incorporates wheelchair access
Taxi prototype, first factory built sedan taxi that incorporates wheelchair access
Terence J. Moakley, director of the United Spinal Association’s Taxis For All- North America project, reversed his wheelchair into the Standard Taxi prototype, the first factory-built sedan taxi that also incorporates wheelchair access features such as a front wheelchair seating location and a recessed access ramp at the National Accessible Taxi Summit in New York City, April 11. Moakley has been actively involved in the accessible taxi movement since 1996 and is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on wheelchair-accessible taxicabs. Manufacture of the Standard Taxi is set to begin in 2008.

Moakley stated, “United Spinal Association believes that accessible taxis are the missing link in a fully accessible transportation system in our nation.