New York, NY (NBC) — The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for the first-ever human trial of a medical treatment, derived from embryonic stem cells.
The company plans to start testing this embryonic stem cell therapy on patients with spinal cord injuries.
Members of one spinal cord injury peer support group are buzzing about Menlo Park Company’s efforts to use embryonic stem cell therapy on people with spinal cord injuries.
Most agreed that it was exciting. Rich Patterson, the Clinical Peer Support Coordinator said, “I’ve always been optimistic that this type of research that Geron has just brought out is very hopeful for me and certainly for other people who have these injuries as well.”
The FDA gave Geron the green light to begin the world’s first human clinical trial of embryonic stem cells. The company says that with the therapy they’ve been able to help a rat with spinal cord injuries regain movement.
The tests will use stem cells cultured from embryos left over in fertility clinics, which would have otherwise been discarded.
The company plans to start with about 10 patients as early as this year.
The trial will only included patients completely paralyzed and injured within 7 to 14 days, so initially the therapy will not help people like those already in the support group.