State Stem Cell Agency Funds Human Clinical Trial for the First Time
On Wednesday, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded a $25 million grant to support a human clinical trial on stem cell treatments, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The award marks the first time that the state stem cell agency has provided funding for a human clinical trial. All of the $1.2 billion previously distributed by CIRM went to basic science research that took place primarily at academic centers.
California founded CIRM in 2004 after voters approved Proposition 71, which provided $3 billion to help stem cell researchers develop therapies for various conditions.
The $25 million grant was awarded to Geron of Menlo Park.Â In October 2010,Â Geron began using embryonic stem cells to develop immature versions of special neural cells that could be injected into patients paralyzed by spinal cord injuries (DarcÃ©, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/4).
For the first phase of the CIRM-supported trial, Geron will examine the safety of the treatment and how patients respond to varying doses of the neural cells (Brown, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 5/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.