spinal cord injury

From the editor: Yesterday the CIRM governing board approved a $25 million loan to help fund a trial testing the use of an embryonic stem cell-derived therapy for spinal cord injury. Here's our press release. Our guest blogger Roman Reed was injured in a football accident and has since fought tirelessly for spinal cord injury research.

We've posted quite a bit about the Geron trial testing an embryonic stem cell-derived therapy for spinal cord injury. Now Palo Alto-based StemCells Inc has started a trial in Switzerland testing a tissue-specific stem cell therapy. The company announced that they'll be enrolling 12 people who have no feeling below their injury in this initial safety trial.

Under the direction of Dr. Gary Steinberg, an advance long considered impossible is moving forward today: Stanford announced yesterday that it will participate in Geron's human clinical safety trials for a novel treatment for spinal cord injury. These are safety trials to be sure and not efficacy trials, more tests will need to be run, but this is already farther along than ever before.

We're back after a vacation filled with news about the second ACT embryonic stem cell trial getting FDA approval earlier this week. This one is for macular degeneration. Their first trial, approved by the FDA on November 22, was for Stargardt's macular degeneration. That brings the total to three trials testing therapies based on embryonic stem cells.

A nod to Paul Knoepfler at UC Davis, who has posted a blog entry about the Geron trial for spinal cord injury. It provides a nice summary of the science behind the trial, and a reminder of why patients might be hard to recruit. He refers to Michael Martinez, a jockey who recently sustained a severe spinal cord injury, and who was rejected for participation in Geron's trial developed from human embryonic stem cells. As Knoepfler points out:

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