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FDA Approves Study Using Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Whatever your religious beliefs or political positions, you can't help but recognize it cannot be a coincidence that just three days into the new Obama presidential administration, that the FDA just approved the first human trial of stem cell therapy.

The Geron Corporation, based in Menlo Park, California, reported in a news release that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FD) cleared the company's Investigational New Drug application for the clinical trial of GRNOPC1 for the specific use in patients with subacute complete thoracic spinal cord injuries.

Why is this study being posted on our VisiVite Blog about eye health? Because the the oligodendrocyte cells derived from the embryonic stem cells might prove to be beneficial in the treatment of macular degeneration. And because the eye is a confined space, future studies involving the eye are more likely to be approved than the higher risk spinal cord studies. Geron's data holds promise both in terms of safety and efficacy, including not requiring high doses of anti-rejection drugs that are required in other organ transplants.

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